Ambassador Gordon Sondland, the most anticipated witness in the impeachment inquiry, implicated Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Vice President Mike Pence in his testimony Wednesday where he said bluntly that a ‘quid pro quo’ was at work in regards to U.S. policy to Ukraine.
Sondland implicated everyone but himself in a pressure campaign on Ukraine to open an investigation into the president’s political rivals. At first, the quid pro quo was a White House meeting for the new Ukrainian president. Then military aid was withheld – and Sondland said that he came to the conclusion it was in the quid pro quo too.
‘At all times, I was acting in good faith. As a presidential appointee, I followed the directions of the President,’ he said.
His bombshell testimony revealed that top-level Trump administration officials knew what was happening at the time.
‘They knew what we were doing and why,’ Sondland told the House Intelligence Committee. ‘Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret.’
And he said flat-out there was a ‘quid pro quo’ at work.
‘I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ Sondland said. ‘With regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.’
And he said U.S. officials working on Ukraine policy did so at Trump’s direction – a direct implication that the president wanted a foreign government to investigate his top political rival in the 2020 presidential election.
‘We followed the president’s orders,’ he said.