The testimony from Marie Yovanovitch and Fiona Hill over the past few days has left U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland with little choice but to go ahead and cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry himself. Sondland’s leaks this week make clear that he indeed plans to sell Donald Trump out in the hope of saving himself from future prosecution.
Now we’re finding out why Gordon Sondland is doing the smart thing: his wife is making him do it. According to the Washington Post, Sondland’s wife Katherine Durant has been giving interviews about the backlash and potential boycott that their hotel chain is facing if Gordon tries to stand by Trump. In other words, she doesn’t want him destroying everything they’ve built while trying to protect a corrupt president who’s going down anyway.
Sondland still faces something of a no-win situation. He was a key player in a criminal scandal that involved the President of the United States trying to coerce a foreign country into conspiring with him to rig the 2020 election. This makes Watergate look like a day at the beach – and dozens of Nixon’s underlings ended up indicted for their roles in that.
Gordon Sondland can either give cooperative testimony to the House impeachment inquiry and hope that his cooperation ends up being enough to save him from being indicted by the next iteration of the Department of Justice. Or he can lie for Trump and hope that Trump ends up giving him a pardon, which won’t happen, and will leave his reputation destroyed anyway. It looks like Sondland’s wife has steered him toward doing the smart thing.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report