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Gordon Sondland is pulling a Ronald Reagan. With a straight face, he swore he had no idea that Trump's perseveration about some random Ukrainian company called Burisma had anything to do with Joe Biden. Despite the fact that Rudy Giuliani has been on Fox News screaming about it every night since May and Sondland was in regular contact with Rudy all summer long. It, uh, never came up. And he never Googled it. And no one else mentioned it. So, we're good right?

Well, maybe not. On Tuesday, Ambassador Bill Taylor testified that Sondland specifically conditioned both a White House meeting and the release of congressionally allocated funds for Ukraine on President Zelenskiy's public promise to investigate Joe Biden -- "'everything' was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance."

So now it's breaking-glass-thirty for EU Ambassador Sondland, as he frantically shouts I DO NOT RECALL about all the times he explicitly laid out for the Ukrainians and half the State Department that the $491 million dollars of aid would stay locked down until Ukraine agreed to investigate the company that employed Biden's son Hunter, plus whatever crackpot theories about 2016 Trump picked up from wingnut media.


"Sondland does not recall any conversation in Warsaw concerning the aid cutoff, although he understood that the Ukrainians were, by then, certainly aware of the cutoff and raised the issue directly with Pence," Sondland's lawyer Robert Luskin said to the Washington Post yesterday, frantically trying to dump this hot potato into the vice president's lap.

Luckily, House impeachment investigators have an all-star lineup of witnesses scheduled to help jog Mr. Sondland's memory -- most importantly, current National Security Council member Tim Morrison, who Politico reports is planning to defy the White House ban and show up on Thursday. In addition to being on the infamous Ukraine shakedown call, Morrison was in the room when Sondland and Kurt Volker laid out the quid pro quo for the Ukrainians in Warsaw on August 31, and he had multiple conversations with them about it before and after, according to Bill Taylor. So Gordon Sondland may want to stock up on Maalox this weekend, since that is definitely not what he said when he appeared before the impeachment investigators, and multiple members of Congress are calling for him to return and "clarify" his prior testimony.

And Laura Cooper, the first Defense Department witness to show up, was probably able to shed some light on Trump's freeze on aid money in an effort to persuade President Zelenskiy to pony up. Because Matt Gaetz's Men's Wearhouse Rioters only succeeded in delaying testimony by the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe. She still did what she came to do after those assholes finally finished their pizza and took their illegal cellphones out of the SCIF, despite this legally spurious nastygram from the DOD's second in command. Cooper had a front row seat when the hold on Ukrainian funds came down from the White House, and can probably corroborate that Mulvaney lied about the reason for the hold, describing it as part of the "interagency process."

Ah, Mick, ya dumb bastard.

Tomorrow the committees will interview Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker, who fielded complaints from frantic State Department officials as it dawned on them that Rudy's back channel was holding up aid and doing serious damage to the US strategic interest in Ukraine. Reeker's testimony was rescheduled because of Congressman Cummings's funeral, so naturally whiny-ass Jim Jordan sent Reeker a letter begging him to refuse to appear on a weekend to "allow robust Member attendance and participation." Which is a lot of chutzpah for a guy pretending that the hearings are a secret star chamber with a NO GOP ALLOWED sign nailed to the door.

On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the committees will hear from three witnesses from the State Department and National Security Council: former deputy assistant for National Security Affairs Charles Kupperman, NSC Ukraine expert Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and (acting) Assistant sSecretary for International Security Affairs Kathryn Wheelbarger. Because Pat Cipollone's FUCK YOUR IMPEACHMENT letter seems to have had no effect, other than forcing witnesses to testify from memory without the aid of supporting documents, since the White House locked those down as part of its obstruction efforts.

And now CNN and the New York Times say that The Mustache himself may make an appearance. John Bolton, who is reported to have said he wanted no part of "whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up," is in negotiations to testify. And we'll be super pissed if 2019 makes us root for that psychotic warmonger. But we will get over it!

Do it, John. Think about that orange dipshit firing you by tweet. Take him down!

[WaPo / Politico]

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