Foreign Policy

They Were All In On It

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee this morning where he said the scheme to tie military aid for Ukraine to public investigations of Trump's potential 2020 opponent Joe Biden was ordered by Trump.

According to Sondland, Trump ordered former New York mayor and failed GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani to carry out the scheme and Guiliani directed Sondland among others.

Sondland also testified that members of Trump's cabinet were either involved in the scheme or knew of its existence.

In remarks that also put Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the center of the Ukraine controversy, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland said Pompeo was “fully supportive” of the efforts to push Ukraine into carrying out two investigations that would benefit Trump politically at home.

Sondland, a wealthy hotel entrepreneur and Trump donor, said he worked with Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine issues on “the president’s orders,” further detailing Trump’s active participation in a controversy that threatens his presidency. [...]

The ambassador testified that he told Vice President Mike Pence in September that U.S. security aid to Ukraine had been stalled apparently because of Trump’s demand for the investigations.

Sondland described Trump in May telling him along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and then-U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker to work with Giuliani on Ukraine policy at a time when the former New York mayor was working to get the Ukrainians to do the politically motivated investigations.

A significant portion of the executive branch of our federal government was involved in an illegal scheme to bribe Ukrainian officials for personal and political reasons.

Giuliani being at the center of this scheme is no accident and not just because he's a scoundrel with no scruples. Giuliani is also a private citizen who is not directly employed by the government is not subject to government records requests, among other things. He didn't have to pass background check. He wasn't confirmed for a position by Congress.

I think there's a very high likelihood that Rudy Giuliani has broken federal law by operating as an unregistered foreign agent and he could be indicted in the near future.

Sondland gave the whole game away this morning.

  • Georgie

    “Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret.” Sondlund.

  • muselet

    In a sane universe, Gordon Sondland’s testimony would make Donald Trump’s impeachment and conviction inevitable.

    We do not live in a sane universe.

    Here, we have Devin Nunes mooing about whatever weird conspiracy theories he heard on Fox News today, Trump and Stephanie Grisham repeating “no quid pro quo” like a mantra, and Rudy Giuliani trying frantically to keep his lies straight, not to mention Mitch McConnell keeping one eye on Trump’s favorable/unfavorable numbers to decide whether to let R senators vote to convict.

    “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking.”

    –alopecia

    • Draxiar

      The look on Nunes’ face after Sondlands testimony was glorious.

  • gescove

    Sondland couldn’t throw people out of his sinking life raft fast enough. It was a sight to behold.