“He’s Gonna Do It.” David Holmes Describes Overhearing Trump-Sondland Call.

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One of the biggest bombshells on the first day of the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings came from Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, who testified that a member of his staff overheard a phone call between President Donald Trump and US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland. During the call, Taylor said, the president had asked Sondland about “the investigations,” referring to investigations into Trump’s political enemies that he was pressuring Ukraine to conduct.

David Holmes, the staffer who overheard the call, just described that phone call during Thursday’s hearing. According to Holmes, he heard Trump ask, “So, he’s gonna do the investigation?” Holmes said that Sondland replied that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was indeed “gonna do it.”

Holmes described easily overhearing the phone call, which wasn’t on speakerphone, because Trump’s “voice was very loud and recognizable,” so much so that Sondland had to hold the phone away from his ear. Like this: 

Holmes testified that after the call ended, he asked Sondland “if it was true that the president did not give a expletive about Ukraine,” to which Sondland agreed and said that “the president only cares about ‘big stuff.'” Sondland then explained that “big stuff” meant the investigation Trump wanted into the Bidens and Burisma—not the war Ukraine is fighting with Russia.

Holmes also testified that on the call, Trump and Sondland discussed the situation of A$AP Rocky, the American rapper who at the time was jailed in Sweden: 

Holmes said that when he returned to the US embassy, he “immediately briefed” his supervisor, as well as others, about the call between Sondland and Trump. He said that he “repeatedly referred to the call” in subsequent meetings where Trump’s interest in Ukraine “was potentially relevant.”

Trump, who has repeatedly attacked impeachment witnesses on Twitter, suggested that it would have been impossible for Holmes to overhear his statements:

Connie Schultz, a journalist married to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), quickly noted that she, too, had once overheard “every word” of Trump’s comments on a phone call:

Listen to Washington D.C. Bureau Chief David Corn describe the outrageous partisan theatrics in the impeachment room, and the mounting evidence against Donald Trump, in the latest episode of the Mother Jones Podcast:

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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