A key witness in the House impeachment probe says Ukraine was threatened with not receiving U.S. military aid unless it publicly committed to investigations being pushed by President Trump. In transcripts of depositions to investigators, Gordon Sondland also outlined efforts by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democrats.
Sondland is the U.S. ambassador to the European Union and was put in charge of overseeing diplomacy with Ukraine. And one of the most significant items from yesterday’s transcript release is that Sondland revised his prior testimony to say that he told a top Ukrainian official that U.S. aid would likely not resume until the country issues a corruption statement.
This revelation was quickly hailed by Democrats as proof of the quid pro quo they have been alleging took place – one that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney once totally confirmed, before recanting.
Either way, the White House maintains there’s ‘nothing to see here.’ As White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham sees it, "The President has done nothing wrong." In a written statement, Grisham said the depositions "show there is even less evidence for this illegitimate impeachment scam than previously thought." She argued that impeachment is being fueled by "salacious media-biased headlines."
Perhaps, but at the same time, for all the railing against the inquiry that Republicans have done about the process, reports say they simply aren’t participating. At the Sondland deposition, for example, of the Republicans there, there were more than double the number of Democrats (we’re talking 2-to-1).
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