Witness Confirms Gordon Sondland A GODDAMN IDIOT
Why the hell did Gordon Sondland ever agree to testify before Congress? Was there some moment back in October when he thought to himself, "Sure, three State Department employees overheard me assure Trump that Zelenskiy would do 'all the investigations' because 'he loves your ass,' but I can just deny it when I testify and it will all be cool?" Because there was no version of events where Sondland could tell the truth and have it be okay. There was only perjury-trapping himself like a common Roger Stone, or SHUTTING THE HELL UP. Which he could easily have done, since half the executive branch already told Congress to get bent and lived to derp another day.
Instead, Sondland went in and told a whole passel of half-truths (we are kind on a Monday!) about stupid shit he did in front of dozens of witnesses, after marching through Europe cheerfully announcing to anyone who would listen that he was on a mission from the president to subvert American foreign policy to support his re-election campaign.
After an exhaustive examination of the record, we have arrived at the only possible explanation: Gordon Sondland is A IDIOT. There is unanimous agreement on this point among all the impeachment witnesses, most recently David Holmes, the political counselor at our Ukrainian embassy, who described for House investigators Friday how they got saddled with Ambassador Buttinsky:
While Ambassador Sondland's mandate as Ambassador to the European Union did not cover individual member states, let alone non-member countries like Ukraine, he made clear that he had direct and frequent access to President Trump and Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and portrayed himself as the conduit to the President and Mulvaney for the group.
That would be diplomat-speak for, "Lookit this self-important dumbass horning in on shit he knows nothing about!"
In his testimony last week, Ambassador Bill Taylor referred to an embassy staffer who witnessed a phone call between Sondland and Trump discussing the "investigations" in Ukraine, AKA the quid pro quo, AKA the Biden smears and wingnut fever dreams about the DNC server. Holmes is that staffer, and his leaked opening statement is AMAZING. Were you thinking this story needs an A$AP Rocky/Kardashians subplot? If so, you're in luck!
But before the PIZZAZZ, the important stuff. Gotta eat your vegetables, kids!
Unlike some witnesses who profess to have been ignorant of Giuliani's Ukraine ratfucking until they READ THE TD$JJJPCTTTTT, Holmes said he was well aware of the off-the-books machinations back in March 2019 when "our diplomatic policy that had been focused on supporting Ukrainian democratic reform and resistance to Russian aggression became overshadowed by a political agenda being promoted by Rudy Giuliani and a cadre of officials with a direct channel to the White House."
Rudy and his cronies had trained their sights on Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, whom Holmes describes as a consummate professional, and once they got her out of the way in May, the official and unofficial channels started to merge. The Three Amigos -- Sondland, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Ambassador Kurt Volker -- rolled in to town for Zelenskiy's inauguration, and they never really left. In fact Sondland, who fancied himself the Amigo-in-Chief, was pretty salty about the president's lawyer ruining their plans to strong-arm the Ukrainians by blabbing about them on television every night, saying, "Damnit, Rudy. Every time Rudy gets involved he goes and fucks everything up." Which is factcheck true! (And yes, that is a real quote Sondland said with his mouth, according to Holmes's testimony.)
Hey, LOL, remember that time when Sondland testified that he only watches HBO, so he never saw Giuliani screaming about Joe and Hunter Biden and Burisma on Fox every night? ABOUT THAT ...
Only for you would we read a ten-page document that looks like that!
Anyway, so it's pretty weird that Perry is resigning, huh?
On June 28, Holmes reports that Sondland and Volker told Zelenskiy that "some action on a Biden/Burisma investigation was a precondition for an Oval Office meeting." Then in mid-July, they realized Trump had placed a hold on the $391 million defense allocation for Ukraine, which set off near-panic in the embassy as multiple glowing reports on Zelenskiy's anti-corruption initiatives and that country's strategic importance to the US fell on deaf ears at the White House.
After the infamous July 25 shakedown call, Sondland followed up the next day in a one-on-one meeting with Zelenskiy's aide Andrei Yermak, at which Sondland explicitly refused to allow any notes to be taken. Extorting a foreign government takes a lot out of a man, allegedly, so after that unrecorded meeting Sondland, Holmes, and two other staffers decided to get lunch at a local restaurant where Ambassador OpSec wowed his colleagues by whipping out his cellphone and dialing up the president directly.
(Luckily there's no history of embassy staff in Ukraine having their conversations recorded in a country lousy with Russian spies. Oh, wait, there is? Oops.)
While Ambassador Sondland's phone was not on speakerphone, I could hear the President's voice through the earpiece of the phone. The President's voice was very loud and recognizable, and Ambassador Sondland held the phone away from his ear for a period of time, presumably because of the loud volume.
After telling Trump that he was in Kyiv, which he had to clarify was in Ukraine (Dear Lord!), Sondland told the president that Zelenskiy "loves your ass," to which Trump demanded, "So, is he going to do the investigations?"
"He's gonna do it," Sondland promised, "anything you ask him to."
Having confirmed that Ukraine would give Trump the demanded electoral assist, the conversation turned to rapper A$AP Rocky, who was then jailed in Sweden on assault charges. Sondland opined that the rapper was "kind of fucked there" as he "should have pled guilty." Sondland advised that the president "let him get sentenced, play the racism card, give him a ticker-tape when he comes home." At least Trump would be able to "tell the Kardashians you tried." Priorities!
After the call Sondland blithely informed the three staffers working full-time on Ukraine that Trump did not "give a shit" about that country. Because he's A DIPLOMAT.
I asked why not, and Ambassador Sondland stated that the President only cares about "big stuff." I noted that there was "big stuff" going on in Ukraine, like a war with Russia, and Ambassador Sondland replied that he meant "big stuff" that benefits the President, like the "Biden investigation" that Mr. Giuliani was pushing. The conversation then moved onto other topics.
LOL, remember that time when Sondland testified that he never had any idea that Burisma was related to Joe Biden? ABOUT THAT ...
And all that was just in Holmes's opening statement, before he took a single question. Maybe he wilted under GOP lawyer Steve Castor's penetrating gaze and aggressive cross examination skills, admitting he made up LIES about poor, honorable Ambassador MENSA-man.
Or, maybe not.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.