Gordon Sondland is the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, and like many ambassadors in the age of Trump, he’s a grossly under-qualified lackey who basically got the job because he gave Trump lots of money that he made as a hotelier. Which makes it even funnier that he’s somehow involved in the middle of the Trump-Ukraine mess. In a text message with Bill Taylor, the former ambassador to the Ukraine, he attempted to defend Trump from accusations that he was pushing Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens for his own gain:
Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.
That’s good lackeying! But what’s happening now is bad lackeying: Sondland is about to testify in the House impeachment inquiry (after the Trump administration tried to block him until he said he’d comply with the subpoena), and ABC News reports that he’s going to spill the beans:
The U.S. ambassador to the European Union will tell Congress that President Donald Trump directed him and others to work with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to push Ukraine to announce investigations, but that he was in the dark on the extent of Giuliani’s efforts and the political motive behind it, according to his opening statement obtained by ABC News.
Despite his text, he’s set to tell Congress that the so-called “anti-corruption” measures announced by the Ukraine were “one of the pre-conditions for securing a White House meeting,” and that he was basically forced to work with Giuliani. Further, he’s going so far as to say that Giuliani was acting under Trump’s orders.
All that said, Sondland is going to maintain that he didn’t know anything about the Bidens specifically, and hadn’t heard anything in that regard from Trump or Giuliani. Which is absurd, as ABC News notes:
In those texts, Sondland and Volker also discussed working with Zelenskiy’s aides to have them announce an investigation, including into Burisma, in order to secure a White House meeting. On Aug. 13, they even help draft a statement for Zelenskiy to announce the investigations that, at Giuliani’s insistence, included specific references to Burisma and the 2016 election, according to a source familiar with Sondland’s testimony.
Burisma is a Ukrainian energy company which had Hunter Biden on its board, and is at the center of the entire accusation surrounding Trump’s apparently coercion on the quid-pro-quo front with Zelensky.