NBC News reports today about a White House meeting with Ukrainian officials that took place earlier this year. The Ukrainians wanted to agree on a meeting date between President Trump and newly elected Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, but John Bolton was noncommital. Then Gordon Sondland piped up:
Sondland directly contradicted Bolton by telling the Ukrainians that in fact, Trump was committed to meeting with Zelenskiy on the condition he open a corruption investigation, two people told about the matter tell NBC News.
Bolton abruptly ended the meeting.
But, the individuals say, Sondland then invited the Ukrainian officials to continue the conversation separately, escorting them to a private room in the White House basement, the individuals said. That’s when Sondland was overheard discussing Burisma Holdings, whose board of directors former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden joined in 2014.
There’s a massive amount of evidence now that Trump has spent nearly a year obsessing over how to get Ukraine to investigate a political opponent. He has co-opted Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney, Gordon Sondland, Rick Perry, and probably many others in this campaign, and he has used as bait both military aid and a personal meeting with Ukraine’s president at the White House. This was no off-the-cuff effort.
This is as clear a case of abuse of power as anyone could imagine. How is it possible to leave a man in office who does something like this?