Gordon Sondland is, in a word, screwed. There’s no way he gets through today without it costing him something, no matter how he handles it. The only question is whether Sondland ends the day facing eventual felony perjury charges. One way or another, Sondland will be going for broke today, because his life – or at least the next several years of it – will depend on it. So what will he do?
Former federal prosecutor Barb McQuade said on MSNBC last night that she expects House Democrats to “immunize” Gordon Sondland in exchange for coming clean. In other words, they would agree not to refer him for perjury charges for his prior false testimony, if he tells the whole truth now. This would protect Sondland against going down for perjury, as the charge would never stick in court after Sondland was promised immunity for it on live national television.
That said, Sondland has to worry about the post-Trump DOJ eventually bringing criminal charges against him for his role in the underlying Ukraine extortion plot. To that end, former federal prosecutor Chuck Rosenberg said on MSNBC last night that he could see Sondland pleading the Fifth today, in order to avoid further incriminating himself.
Gordon Sondland could also (foolishly) go the other direction by lying today in order to protect himself and Donald Trump, in the hope of getting a magical Trump pardon that will never actually come. In any case, Sondland will be going for broke today no matter how he plays this.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report