News

White House

Sondland Testifies That Giuliani Was ‘Expressing the Desires of the President’ When He Orchestrated ‘Quid Pro Quo’

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies in Washington, D.C., November 20, 2019. (Loren Elliott/Reuters)

Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testified Tuesday morning that “the answer is yes” as to whether President Trump’s requests to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in their July 25 phone call constituted a quid pro quo.

“Mr. Giuliani conveyed to Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker, and others that President Trump wanted a public statement from President Zelensky committing to investigations of Burisma and the 2016 election,” Sondland’s testimony reads. “Mr. Giuliani expressed those requests directly to the Ukrainians. Mr. Giuliani also expressed those requests directly to us. We all understood that these prerequisites for the White House call and White House meeting reflected President Trump’s desires and requirements.”

Sondland mentioned a July 19 email he sent to Cabinet members after speaking with Zelensky. The email, whose recipients included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House staff, said that the Ukrainian president would tell Trump “that he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will ‘turn over every stone.’”

Sondland also touched on the involvement of President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. “We weren’t happy with the President’s directive to talk with Rudy,” Sondland said. “We did not want to involve Mr. Giuliani . . . we were faced with a choice: We could abandon the efforts to schedule the White House phone call and White House visit between Presidents Trump and Zelensky, which was unquestionably in our foreign policy interest, or we could do as President Trump had directed and ‘talk to Rudy.’ We chose the latter course, not because we liked it, but because it was the only constructive path open to us.”

Sondland’s account contradicts testimony from former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, who said on Tuesday  that President Trump’s suggestion during a May 23 meeting in the White House that he “talk to Rudy” wasn’t taken “as an instruction.”

Sondland also revealed that Pompeo and former National Security adviser John Bolton both “knew what we were doing and why” in getting Ukraine to commit to investigations that Giuliani was pushing for.

Sondland said that in an email exchange, Pompeo confirmed that Sondland should get a “short pull-aside” meeting between Trump and Zelensky, so that they could “break the logjam” of delayed military aid.

Additionally, Sondland said that on August 26, prior to Bolton’s visit to Kyiv, Sondland sent him Giuliani’s contact information directly after it was requested.

Most Popular

White House

The Damning Inspector General’s Report

It is hard to believe that the run-up to the presidential-election year has plumbed such a depth of farcical degradation. It must be that Trump’s influence has contributed to unserious responses, but he can’t be blamed for the unutterable nonsense of his opponents and the straight men of the political class ... Read More
White House

The Damning Inspector General’s Report

It is hard to believe that the run-up to the presidential-election year has plumbed such a depth of farcical degradation. It must be that Trump’s influence has contributed to unserious responses, but he can’t be blamed for the unutterable nonsense of his opponents and the straight men of the political class ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The FBI’s Corrupt Cops

White-collar criminals should hope for one thing this Christmas: that they get to live under the Horowitz rules. Michael Horowitz has testified that he found no evidence of political bias on the part of the decision makers who, under the Obama administration, relied on hilariously implausible “evidence” ... Read More
White House

Is Trump the Only Adult in the Room?

Donald Trump certainly is mercurial at times. He can be uncouth. But then again, no president in modern memory has been on the receiving end of such overwhelmingly negative media coverage and a three-year effort to abort his presidency, beginning the day after his election. Do we remember the effort to ... Read More
White House

Is Trump the Only Adult in the Room?

Donald Trump certainly is mercurial at times. He can be uncouth. But then again, no president in modern memory has been on the receiving end of such overwhelmingly negative media coverage and a three-year effort to abort his presidency, beginning the day after his election. Do we remember the effort to ... Read More
World

The U.K. Elections Were the Real Second Referendum

In the end, it wasn’t close at all. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party met a fate to which it has been accustomed for most of the last half-century. Once again, the British roundly rejected socialism. Boris Johnson and his conservatives will form the next British government. This was no slight rejection. Labour ... Read More
World

The U.K. Elections Were the Real Second Referendum

In the end, it wasn’t close at all. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party met a fate to which it has been accustomed for most of the last half-century. Once again, the British roundly rejected socialism. Boris Johnson and his conservatives will form the next British government. This was no slight rejection. Labour ... Read More