Nick Akerman, former Watergate prosecutor, told Huffington Post that Donald Trump is going to be toast this week. He believes that the upcoming testimony of Gordon Sondland will be the butter on that toast. Akerman believes that Sondland will “tell the whole story,” including giving details and providing documents. As he points out, plenty of witnesses are already corroborating the original whistleblower’s claim that Trump engaged in bribery in his dealings with Ukrainian President Zelensky. Akerman further told HuffPost that “there’s no question” that Trump was soliciting an investigation into Joe Biden “using money as appropriated by the U.S. Congress.” He calls it what Pelosi and now the rest of us are calling it: “Pure bribery.”
Recall that Sondland has already “corrected” his deposition testimony and revealed to the media that he did, in fact, “recall” his discussions with Trump that involved Ukraine announcing an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden if they wanted the military funding that had already been earmarked for that purpose. The problem now is can we trust Sondland to do the right thing? Slate shares that Sondland had multiple direct conversations with Trump. He is, therefore, in the unique position of giving the only direct testimony of Trump’s demand that Ukraine investigate the Bidens in exchange for military aid. Because Sondland has changed his testimony to match the testimony of others, how will we know if he’s telling the truth this time? One clue is that as Trump typically does, he now “hardly know[s] the gentleman.” Oh, please. Sondland donated a million dollars to Trump’s inauguration campaign. Do you really think he “hardly knows him?”
How else did Sondland, with no experience whatsoever, land the position of diplomat of the EU? Does Trump just walk down the street, point at people and say, “You! I want you to be an ambassador!” Don’t count on it. Everything Trump does has some benefit to him, either before or after he does it. According to Slate, Trump’s allies have now lumped Sondland in with Giuliani, calling them “loose cannons” who “acted on their own.” For what purpose would either do that? It makes no sense.
What does make sense is that Trump rewarded Sondland for his generous donation, and Sondland tried to pay him back by lying for him. Enter Bill Taylor, who basically testified that Sondland is lying. Now, Sondland is walking back his earlier testimony, making his testimony a threat to Trump, and suddenly, Trump doesn’t know him. Sure he doesn’t. At the same time, Congress has been buzzing about Sondland perjuring himself, and interestingly, his story changes.
The true test for Sondlond will come when he testifies before Congress. He can potentially spare himself while convicting both Giuliani and Trump. His diplomatic career will be over, but what might he find more attractive, returning to private life or going to jail? At this point, everyone knows he lied, no matter how he might try to dress up his testimony or pretend that his memory has once again deceived him. Depending on the way Sondland decides to go, Akerman’s prediction could well come to pass. Can someone pass the jam for the Trump toast?
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years