When Ambassador Sondland gave his opening testimony, Democrats thought they had their smoking gun.
However, during the questioning period by the majority, it became clear those words NEVER came from President Trump.
The future of Rudy Giuliani got a lot muddier, but as far as the direct link Democrats want for a quid pro quo request from Trump, they crashed and burned.
Sondland is clearly trying to cover his own butt in his testimony, but he also hung out a lot of people, with Giuliani being the one that could get hurt the most.
According to Sondland, it was Giuliani that told him Trump wanted the investigation into Burisma before the White House meeting would take place.
In fact, it would be very easy to portray Giuliani as a rogue actor in all of this.
When Sondland was directly asked if Trump ever told him if there were restrictions on the meeting or the aid, Sondland stunned Democrats.
Sondland stated that he was on the phone with Trump and asked him specifically what he wanted from Zelesnky and Trump told him he wanted nothing, that all he wanted was for Zelensky to do the right thing.
Perception is NOT Reality
We still have a common theme from Democrats as taking perception as fact.
It got so bad at one point during the majority questioning, that both Schiff and the majority attorney were making up testimony and asking Sondland to agree with them.
Sondland also brought some doubt into the phone call that was allegedly overhead by David Holmes.
While Sondland said he would not challenge Holmes’ recollection of the phone call, he did question several accounts of the call given in the Holmes testimony.
For instance, he said it was highly unlikely he would have held the phone away from his ear as well as discounting some of the language Holmes said Sondland used.
I will not pretend the testimony given by Sondland was not damaging for Trump today, but it is hardly the smoking gun Schiff and company are already making it out to be.
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