Here’s the thing about this many witnesses coming forward to testify against Donald Trump. It’s not just that dishonest people like Gordon Sondland end up suddenly “recalling” more information after they’ve testified, once they realize subsequent witnesses have nailed them for perjury. It’s that the testimony of an honest witness like Bill Taylor ends up prompting others out there to realize that they’re also sitting on relevant information.
Bill Taylor revealed today that one of his staffers just came to him a few days ago and told him about a phone call he’d overheard between Gordon Sondland and Donald Trump. Ostensibly, when the transcript was released from Taylor’s closed-door testimony, the staffer read it and suddenly realized that the phone call he’d overheard was really important. So he told Taylor about it, who told the House impeachment inquiry about it, and suddenly that guy – David Holmes – has also been scheduled to testify.
This is a big deal. The House considers this new revelation important and urgent enough that it’s going to have David Holmes testify behind closed doors this Friday, the same day that Fiona Hill is set to publicly testify. It’s not difficult to parse why it matters so much. Holmes, who was with Sondland and heard his side of the phone call with Trump, will testify that he heard Sondland confirm that Trump only cared about smearing the Bidens, and didn’t care about the fate of Ukraine. This speaks directly to intent.
It also means that Gordon Sondland is now going to have to “recall” yet another thing he left out of his initial testimony, as he never mentioned this phone call. We presume Sondland will now want to revise his testimony yet again, in an increasingly desperate bid to avoid eventual perjury charges. That means we’ll likely get to hear Sondland dish about the phone call with Trump during televised hearings next week. Things are moving quickly now, and they’re cascading.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report