The Daily Beast headline certainly satisfies its intent of catching the eye: “Ambassador Sondland Throws Trump Under the Bus.” After reading Sondland’s opening remarks, the title should be changed to: “Ambassador Sondland Throws Trump Under the Bus and Backs Over Him.” It is clear from the outset of his remarks that Sondland was trying his best to stay out of the fray. He opened by saying he was “disappointed that the State Department prevented me, at the last minute, from testifying earlier on October 8, 2019.” That set the stage for Sondland’s testimony.
Sondland went through the timeline of his appointment and activities and why, even though Ukraine is not a member of the EU, it was important to foster relations with them. Following several successful trips, including a trip for Zelensky’s inauguration, the U.S. delegation returned to set up a working phone call with Zelensky and Donald Trump, who immediately informed them that they had to go through Rudy Giuliani to discuss his “concerns” about corruption. Sondland minces no words when he said he was “disappointed” by Trump’s involvement of Giuliani.
Further, they were not given a choice: They could either involve Giuliani—who has absolutely no standing inside of our government—or abandon the meeting they proposed. This was Trump’s first quid pro quo moment. Sondland testified that they chose the path set by Trump because they had no choice; however, he was clear that he had no idea that Giuliani’s agenda would include an investigation of Joe and Hunter Biden in an effort to influence the 2020 elections. One thing is clear in Sondland’s opening remarks: He emphatically denounced the involvement of a private citizen (Giuliani) in foreign policy. This testimony is not good for Donald Trump, but later, Mick Mulvaney made things even worse.
It is not clear whether Mulvaney thinks he’s the smartest person in the room or whether he is really just that dumb. Surely, he knows that admitting to withholding funds allocated to Ukraine isn’t something “we do all the time in foreign policy.” What planet has he been living on? The result of his idiocy is not what Trump wants. Already, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is livid according to HuffPost, and other Republicans have weighed in against the move, which is obviously against every policy ever enacted. While Francis Rooney (R-FL) said to CNN that he wants to wait until all the facts are in, it is looking more likely than not that the impeachment of Donald Trump may well be on track to happen, Moscow Mitch notwithstanding. Mitch can say whatever he wants about the timeline for impeachment, but it’s not his call. As Palmer Report has repeatedly shown, Moscow Mitch will do whatever best benefits Moscow Mitch.
In the midst of all this, what is Trump up to? Announcing that he’s holding the G-7 Summit at his Doral resort. Good luck with that, Trump. A clear violation of the Emoluments clause, Trump is either incredibly stupid, ignorantly overconfident, or is just taking a last dig on his way out the door. Either way, Donald Trump’s clock is ticking. Tick, tock baby. Can’t wait for the door to hit you where the good Lord split you.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years