Well, it’s no longer “hearsay”

This past Wednesday, as you may recall, William Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told members of the House Intelligence Committee that his aide, later to be identified as David Holmes, had overheard a cellphone conversation between Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, and President Donald Trump on July 26, during which the two men discussed the prospect of getting the Ukrainians to open in investigation into the Bidens. Well, Holmes gave his deposition before the committee yesterday afternoon, and things really aren’t looking good for either Sondland, who has already had to “revise” his sworn testimony once, or Donald Trump, who has been pulled right into the heart of the investigation.

As you may recall, Sondland had initially said under oath that he wasn’t aware of anything that might be of interest to investigators. “Nothing was ever raised to me about any concerns regarding our Ukraine policy,” he said, before going on to add that he “never” thought there was any precondition placed on the American aid to Ukraine. This narrative, of course, soon fell apart for the good ambassador, as others in the administration, like Taylor and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, defying the administration’s command that they not provide sworn testimony, came forward to confirm the quid pro quo at the center of this scandal. And, when their testimony was made public, Sondland’s memory apparently started to improve. Sondland, at this point in the story, then issued a new statement saying that he not only knew about, but actually conveyed the terms of the extortion to the Ukrainians. “I said that resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks,” he said. But, he pointed out, he never coordinated these activities with the White House… Here’s an excerpt from that revised testimony.

Well, it looks like Sondland might now have to revise his sworn testimony yet once again… assuming he’s allowed to do so by Congressional investigators. You see, yesterday afternoon, David Holmes was deposed by members of the House Intelligence Committee, and it would appear as though, during his testimony, he recounted in exquisite detail how Sondland, on July 26, held his cell phone away from his head far enough so that others in the group could hear Donald Trump, a well-known loud-talker, on the other end, confirming his participation in this diplomatic shake-down.

Here, according to Holmes, is how that part of the conversation between Sondland and Trump went down.

Sondland: “Zelensky loves your ass.”

Trump: “So, he’s going to do the investigations?”

Sondland: “Zelensky’s going to do anything you ask him.”

One imagines, when Sondland testifies in public next week, members of the House Intelligence Committee might want to ask him if his memory has been further “refreshed,” and, if so, whether he’d like to once again amend his testimony.

Oh, and it’s worth noting that we have the Republicans to thank for this. As I understand it, Holmes came forward with the offer to testify about what he’d heard because Congressional Republicans kept repeating “It’s all just hearsay”, in hopes of discounting the sworn statements of everyone who had come forward thus far.

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27 Comments

  1. Jean Henry
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m hard pressed imagining anyone loving that ass.

    (yes I’m body shaming a body shamer; turn around is fair play)

  2. Anonymous
    Posted November 16, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Rep. Adam Schiff: “There is a reason [Trump] pressed the President of Ukraine to interfere in our election on July 25th, and that is because he listened to the testimony of Robert Mueller on July 24th and concluded, wrongly, that he is above the law.”

  3. iRobert
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Trump and his campaign seem to have no communication whatsoever with the people who actually engineered his installation into the White House. If there were any communication there, Trump wouldn’t feel the desperate need to do his dirty work and opposition research personally. It’s such a desperate, ignorant and bizarre thing for a president to be compelled to do. He is apparently not even receiving sufficient reassurances that these things will be taken care of by the professionals who normally do all these things.

    I’m not buying the suggestion that all these kiss-ass Republicans are scared of Trump’s wrath and are being kept in lock-step by that supposed fear. The real threats and control are no doubt coming from a genuinely intimidating source. Trump has appeared to be as intimidated and controlled as the rest of them.

  4. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Heavy duty stuff!

  5. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, one way to convince Republican Senators to start jumping ship.

    https://refusefascism.org/

  6. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, November 24 Detroit: 3:00 PM, Swords Into Plowshares, 33 E Adams Street Detroit

  7. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous,

    Part of Trump’s justification for inquiring into Crowdstrike for example, could in part be traced back to a close reading and specific interpretation of the Mueller report!!! I know it sounds strange but it makes sense from a certain perspective.

    Schiff is a highly devious person, I think.

  8. Bob
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    In what way is Schiff even remotely devious? He is a bland, completely textbook middle of the road politician.

  9. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Blandness or position on the political spectrum says something about whether or not a person is devious?The obvious example was his “parody”/ lie retelling of the transcript. Schiff is constantly attempting to re-frame in order to deceive.

  10. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, Pope warns against the rise of fascism and ” he also railed against corporate crimes and announced consideration of adding “sins against ecology” to the church’s official teachings.”

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/11/16/while-warning-nazi-fascism-and-corporate-crimes-pope-francis-proposes-adding?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR0p-4LUPixRq5nkWMP34mH6LfYjOZTjfthY60VI-bTYoahLJIp39TDjlXw

    “We have to introduce, we are thinking about it, in the catechism of the Catholic Church, the sin against ecology, the sin against our common home, because it’s a duty,”

  11. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    What was your bland, middle of the road guy doing over at Ed Buck’s all the time? That dem supporter who was shooting up male prostitutes with meth until they died/nearly died at his apartment that just got arrested? You have got to be kidding me. I had no idea he was a dangerous pervy tweaker honest!

  12. Sad
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Luckily Mayor Pete is really wholesome and has little to do with the Washington establishment.

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Troll watch on NPR is super useful in parsing what the hell HW and FF are talking about any given week. Nothing specific in this link. They do it every week.

    https://www.kuow.org/stories/troll-watch-disinformation-around-impeachment-hearings

  14. Jean Henry
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Re FF’s endless CrowdStrike droning:

    “Ultimately, the president seems to be alluding to an idea that alt-right commentators and pro-Russia sympathizers have pushed for years: that CrowdStrike was wrong about Russia hacking the DNC—and, moreover, that CrowdStrike intentionally blamed Russia for political reasons. CrowdStrike’s findings have, of course, been repeatedly affirmed by the intelligence community, the Justice Department, members of Congress, and the office of Robert Mueller. Last year the government indicted a dozen Russian intelligence officers for their role in the hacking plot.

    The conspiracy theorists object. They say that the FBI should not trust CrowdStrike. (CrowdStrike provided the bureau with digital images of the DNC’s hacked systems, as is common in this line of work.) They say CrowdStrike’s findings are suspect because the company has ties to Google, whose former chairman and CEO, Eric Schmidt, supported the election of Hillary Clinton. (CrowdStrike is backed a private equity firm, CapitalG, owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet.) They say CrowdStrike is owned by a Ukrainian billionaire. (A cofounder of the Calif.-based company was born in Moscow and moved to America as a teenager.) And they say CrowdStrike is under the influence of Viktor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch. (Pinchuk funds a think tank, the Atlantic Council, where the aforementioned CrowdStrike cofounder is a senior fellow.)

    These straw-grasping claims and distortions of fact are fuel for the fire of disinformation. Further, the notion that there is some missing “server,” and that the server might exist somewhere—like in Ukraine—has no basis in reality. ”

    https://fortune.com/2019/09/28/crowdstrike-conspiracy-theories-trump-ukraine/

  15. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    You don’t understand what the word troll means. Trolls are trying to get a rise out of you by posting something they know will find inflammatory solely for the purpose of getting that kind of response.. I don’t do that. I am quite sincere. All I ever wanted when I came here was to have discussions. You seem to think a troll is someone who has a different point of view than Jean Henry.

  16. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    The “intelligence community” took CrowdStrike’s word about the hacking without examining the server. How could they confirm what they didn’t see?

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    HW– ado you expect us to believe that you came here to a very liberal blog to spout your Qanon conspiracy theories and did not intend that to be incendiary? Really? you were just sharing information. You revel in the idea of rocking our worlds. You are a troll Hw. Anyone can see that. If I went over to Breitbart and got in arguments there, I would be a troll too. That’s how it works.

    PS Looks like the day of reckoning approaches HW. Careful what you wish for. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/11/6/1897632/-William-Barr-is-racing-to-deliver-a-report-that-blows-up-the-impeachment-inquiry-and-everything-else

  18. Sad
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    HW did you see Mandy Moore is out campaigning for Mayor Pete?

    You like that show don’t you?

  19. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I don’t take offense merely because someone has an opinion contrary to mine or information that challenges my viewpoint. That’s one of the many differences between us, Jean. I don’t expect that reasonable people will do that either but I have not found you to be reasonable.

  20. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Jean,

    It is understood that Trump said some odd things around Crowdstrike to Zelensky. I think there are still valid questions around Crowdstrike however. It is unclear the extent to which The FBI relied on Crowdstrike’s analysis. I have heard different things. The Mueller report introduced qualified language when it claimed Russia did the hacking. It was a huge red flag. Asange was not interviewed despite his claim that he has evidence that it was not a Russian hack. That too was a red flag. There are a lot of very shallow articles that try to dismiss Crowdstrike as a mere conspiracy theory. Those articles themselves are a red flag for their superficiality, dismissiveness, and feigned certainty.

  21. Sad
    Posted November 17, 2019 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Crowd strike proud strike…

    Mandy Moore!

  22. John Brown
    Posted November 18, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Support for agent orange is treason. Not at all reasonable to betray the Constitution.

  23. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted November 18, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Too bad you have to just make that up.

  24. dogmatic dolt
    Posted November 18, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Aloha, Just sharing a post from Affordable Ypsi,
    The mayor plans to decommission Anne Brown, a well respected public official of Ypsilanti and a Black woman. Anne Brown ran against the mayor in 2018. This will be the mayor’s fourth decommission in six months. All decommissions have been Black or nbpoc. Be there to speak at public comment at 7pm this Tuesday.

    “There is a lot on the City Council agenda this week including:

    – a truancy ordinance
    – decommissioning another Black woman
    – a Human Relations Commission resolution to democratize the nomination process
    – a presentation from the Police Chief about “public safety”
    – an ordinance to prohibit businesses that allow on-site cannabis consumption

  25. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 18, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Supporting something J Bro thinks is bad is bad. If J Bro thinks you are betraying something good then, well, that is just not reasonable.

    #becausejbro

  26. John Brown
    Posted November 18, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    The ruskie stooge is under investigation for lying to Mueller about WikiLeaks (Russia if you’re listening)..

    John Brown thinks being a ruskie stooge and lying your ass off to cover up you betrayal of the Constitution is bad. But he’s a patriot, not a pos traitor like agent orange and his boot lickers.

  27. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 19, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Yes Johnnie B. Being good is good. Bad peoples are bad.

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