Last night the news leaked out that U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who had been a close Donald Trump ally, is planning to tell the House impeachment inquiry this week that he was merely quoting Trump when he sent a text saying that there was no quid pro quo in Ukraine. This means Sondland is refusing to vouch for Trump, which is bad news for Trump. Now it turns out it’s worse.
Gordon Sondland is planning to testify that he and other advisers urged Donald Trump to meet with the new President of Ukraine immediately after his inauguration, and that Trump rebuffed the advice, instead telling the advisers to speak with Rudy Giuliani about the matter, according to a report tonight from MSNBC.
Based on this report, it couldn’t be more clear that Sondland is now trying to cover his own backside. He’s going to testify that he tried to get Trump to do the right thing, and that it was Trump himself – along with Rudy – who schemed to extort Ukraine.
Notably, this report comes after Fiona Hill testified behind closed doors today to the House impeachment inquiry. It’s widely expected that Hill told the House that Gordon Sondland was working with Rudy Giuliani in the Ukraine extortion scandal. Now Sondland is going to try to make clear that he only worked with Rudy because Trump ordered him to.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report