This morning, the long-awaited testimony from United States Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was heard in Congress.
At first glance, it doesn’t look good for President Trump.
However, upon further review, there are still inconsistencies in Sondland’s testimony.
First, here are the key points of Ambassador Sonland’s opening statement:
- Emails provided by Sondland show that the State Department, White House, and National Security Council were all informed of the “pressure” campaign against the Ukrainians to withhold funding unless an investigation was conducted against the Bidens.
- He claimed that “everyone was in the loop.”
- He claimed that Rudy Giuliani admitted that there was a quid pro quo. It was contingent on a meeting that Zelensky wanted with Trump.
- Giuliani claimed to be carrying out the will of President Trump.
- Sondland told Vice President Pence about the withholding of security assistance before Pence met with President Zelensky.
- Zelensky didn’t mention the Trump call and Biden investigations in conversations with Ambassador Sondland
On the surface, that opening statement doesn’t look good for President Trump.
At least that’s what the media was reporting all morning.
However, there are still some unanswered questions and inconsistencies that haven’t been addressed.
By his own admission, no one told Sondland that “the aid was directly tied to anything.” That was just the impression he was left with.
Seriously, how can you impeach a president based on a person’s impression?
Sondland claimed that he knew for sure that a meeting between Trump and Zelensky was contingent on an announcement of an investigation into the Biden’s. He admitted that he had no direct orders to withhold aid unless an investigation was announced.
He said that “2 +2= 4”
That is a hell of an assumption. Unless the president told him himself, there is no way to confirm his assumption.
In fact, Sondland admitted himself that the only conversation that Sondland had with Trump was at a restaurant in Kiev, Ukraine, in which Trump told him “no quid pro quo” and that Trump wanted “nothing from [Zelensky] only for him to do the ‘right thing.’”
Throughout the morning, Sondland was unable to recall many key details. He hid behind the fact that the State Department would not provide him with relevant documents that would jog his memory.
He also claims that he is not a note-taker.
It’s amazing what he can remember, and what he can’t.
As the councilman Castor put it, “you took no notes, had a faulty memory and relied on speculation. This is the trifecta of unreliability, isn’t it?”
Indeed, it is.
There is still a lot of questions that need to be answered and this is not the end of the presidency of Donald J. Trump…not by a long-shot.
There is still no evidence to suggest that the Ukrainians knew that pressure was being applied to them and there is no direct evidence of Trump explicitly calling for aid to be withheld unless the investigation into the Bidens was resumed.
Also, even if this did happen, there were legitimate reasons to investigate Vice President Biden.
The Dems will declare victory and say that this is the end of Trump. However, there is a long way to go until that point. So far, they haven’t delivered foolproof evidence for the outsing of the president of the United States.