Sondland: Yeah, It Was Trump

Caroline Brehman/Congressional Quarterly via ZUMA

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It appears that Gordon Sondland has decided that he doesn’t want to stand trial for perjury after all:

Gordon D. Sondland, the Republican megadonor turned ambassador to the European Union, told the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday that he and other advisers to President Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Democrats “because the president directed us to do so.”

….“Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the president of the United States,” Mr. Sondland told the committee. “We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we were playing the hand we were dealt.” With no alternative, he said, “we followed the president’s orders.”

Mr. Sondland confirmed what has already been known, that there was a clear “quid pro quo” linking a coveted White House meeting for Ukraine’s president to the investigations Mr. Trump wanted. And he said he was concerned about “a potential quid pro quo” linking $391 million in security aid that Mr. Trump suspended to the investigations he desired.

I’m not sure how many people have to testify about this before it becomes a simple fact, but it’s obviously a simple fact. Donald Trump wanted a public announcement that Burisma and the Bidens were being investigated, and only then would he release Ukraine’s military aid and agree to a White House meeting with Ukraine’s president. He tried to leverage American foreign policy for personal gain, and that’s about as impeachable as it gets.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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