Impeachment news doesn't stop just because it is the weekend. The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that lawyers for UN Ambassador Gordon Sondland state that he DID tell House committees that Trump's actions did constitute a quid pro quo.
Well, this won't help Donald Trump and his GOP apologists keep up the lie about there being no quid pro quo. Just a reminder that Sondland is a huge Trump supporter - literally HUGE - he donated $1 million to Trump's inaugural committee. As a reward, Trump appointed him to be the ambassador to the European Union. So for Sondland to come out and say that "yes, it was a quid pro quo," is a big deal.
During Sondland's initial testimony in front of the House committees, it was reported that he tried to downplay any questions about quid pro quo, but Bill Taylor's testimony was significantly more damaging to Trump and Sondland's name was dropped numerous times as being involved in critical conversations or meetings that discussed the exact conditions of quid pro quo expectations. Consequently, the House wants to bring Sondland back in for a follow up meeting. To try to get ahead of that follow-up interview, Sondland's lawyers are trying to do clean up and make it clear, publicly, that Sondland DOES think that Donald Trump holding back funds to Ukraine in exchange for the public effort to manufacture investigations for his personal political benefit was, in fact, a quid pro quo.
Sondland denied being in the loop about the demands for investigations to be opened into Hunter Biden before any money be released to the Ukraine, but Taylor's testimony suggested that Sondland was aware. Based on Taylor's extremely credible testimony, members of the House have refocused their attention on Sondland's testimony, since it appears he was working with Trump and Giuliani on the shadow government foreign policy negotiations. Some Republicans even have questions, which is shocking, I know. Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) told CNN that Taylor’s testimony raised “a lot of questions” and that Mr. Sondland “needs to come back and answer some of these questions.”
Taylor told the House committees that Sondland tried to explain away Trump's demand that Ukraine open investigations into the son of his political opponents. His explanation did not help - at all. In Taylor's opening statement he said:
“Ambassador Sondland tried to explain to me that President Trump is a businessman. When a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something, he said, the businessman asks that person to pay up before signing a check.”
You know what that sounds like? A QUID PRO QUO.
Donald Trump and his sycophants have repeatedly claimed that there was no quid pro quo, but it looks like that line of defense may be falling apart.