Damning testimonies are piling up in the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, and it seems all but certain now that he’ll be impeached in the House of Representatives. So far, five different officials have stated that there was in fact a quid pro quo offered by Trump during his call to Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky. Prior to the call, Trump had $391 million in aid to the war-torn Eastern European country frozen. With that leverage in place, Trump asked Zelensky to open an investigation into possible 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, a clear and flagrant example of using executive power to undermine our elections.
Earlier today, National Security Council official Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman testified before Congress. He claims that EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland said that a meeting between Zelensky and Trump, which the Ukrainians were eager to have, was explicitly contingent on Ukraine investigating Biden and his son. In his written statement, Vindman said he told Sondland that such conditions and behavior were “inappropriate” and had nothing to do with legitimate national security concerns.
Now, it appears Sondland may have other concerns beyond just his part in the corrupt Ukraine efforts.
Last night, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), a member of the House Intelligence Committee leveled a perjury accusation against the ambassador. Castro shared an image of Sondland’s Congressional testimony, during which he insisted that “Nothing was ever raised to me about any concerns regarding our Ukrainian policy.” Beside that transcript, Castro shared an image of Vindman’s written testimony, in which the lieutenant colonel said that Sondland spoke to Ukrainian officials about the desired Biden investigation and that he told the ambassador that the quid pro quo was “inappropriate.” In other words, if Vindman is telling the truth, then Sondland lied to Congress.
The case for perjury seems pretty cut and dry here, so it will be interesting to see how Sondland proceeds now that he’s been publicly accused of breaking the law. Perhaps Sondland amends his testimony and tries to act as if it was a simple fault of memory on his part and not a deliberate lie, or perhaps he will accuse Vindman of lying. In any case, Sondland’s credibility is now in tatters and the staunch Trump ally faces a difficult road ahead. As the impeachment inquiry proceeds, he and those who choose to side with the president will be exposed for the crooks they really are.
Based on all the testimony so far, I believe that Ambassador Gordon Sondland committed perjury. https://t.co/lOGRj8s1yP
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) October 29, 2019
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.