Donald Trump stood on the White House lawn, clutching a piece of paper that said “I WANT NOTHING!” on it, and insisted to reporters that these words proved his innocence in the Ukraine extortion scandal. This was absurd on its face, as it was clear that when Gordon Sondland testified that Trump called him and said this, it was after Trump learned about the whistleblower report. In other words, Trump was merely trying to cover his backside. But now it turns out that particular phone call never even happened.
Sondland’s story was that Donald Trump called him on September 9th and said that he wanted “no quid pro quo” with Ukraine, and that was the entire gist of Trump’s message. But Just Security and the Washington Post have managed to use the testimony of other witnesses suss out that the phone call Sondland is referring to actually took place on September 7th – and that Trump actually said that he wanted “no quid pro quo” before spelling out the precise details of the quid pro quo he wanted.
In other words, this means that even Donald Trump’s laughably faint defense is gone. He did not call up Gordon Sondland on September 9th and say that he wanted no quid pro quo. It appears that Sondland, who has already thoroughly sold Trump out and thus wouldn’t have any reason to still be covering for him on this lone point, simply misremembered the date and context of his “no quid pro quo” conversation with Trump. So where does this get us?
Sondland isn’t going to be charged with perjury for this unless it can be demonstrated that he purposely misstated the date and context of his phone call with Donald Trump. But Trump knows darn well that he never called up Sondland and simply said that he wanted no quid pro quo. That means he’s flat out lying. You can read more about this at Just Security and the Washington Post.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report