Gordon Sondland begins leaking the details of his closed-door testimony, and it’s terrible for Donald Trump

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In the past week since U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified behind closed doors to the House impeachment inquiry, there has been increasing controversy about his testimony. We’ve seen media reports that suggest Sondland’s testimony has been refuted by subsequent witnesses. We’ve seen House Democrats openly talk about referring Sondland for perjury charges. Now Sondland appears to be coming around.

This evening Gordon Sondland’s attorney is giving details about Sondland’s testimony to the WSJ. He’s revealing that Sondland told the House impeachment inquiry that Donald Trump was in fact running a “quid pro quo” in his Ukraine scandal. This is a big deal because it directly refutes Trump’s ongoing assertion that there was no quid pro quo. So why is Sondland leaking this?

Our best guess is that Sondland truly is worried about the House referring him for perjury charges, which probably wouldn’t go anywhere now, but could result in Sondland being indicted and going to prison after Donald Trump is gone. The controversy centers around Sondland’s assertion that no one warned him about the criminal nature of the scandal at the time, even as John Bolton and Fiona Hill have asserted that Bolton did in fact warn him. This distinction is irrelevant to Trump’s guilt. But if Sondland did lie in the hope of minimizing his own criminal exposure, then that’s clearly backfired.

   

Gordon Sondland could be trying to proactively “help out” the House impeachment inquiry by letting it be publicly known that he did indeed give Donald Trump up, in what would be a ham fisted attempt at convincing the House not to ring him up for perjury. We can’t imagine that anyone in the House has told him to do this, but the leak does greatly help th case for impeachment, as it lets the public know that even Trump’s own guy thinks he’s guilty.

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