Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Wednesday ripped the testimony of the Democrats’ key witness, Ambassador Gordon Sondland, demonstrating that the ambassador’s presumption – that a meeting and aid were contingent upon Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announcing investigations into the 2016 elections and Burisma – was wrong, as no announcement was made and no investigation took place, yet Ukraine received the call, the meeting, and the money.
Jordan opened his line of questioning with a deliberately vague question in an effort to demonstrate that Sondland’s presumptions were wholly inaccurate.
“Ambassador, when did it happen?” he asked.
“When did what happen?” Sondland asked.
“The announcement. When did President Zelensky announce that the investigation was going to happen?” Jordan asked, highlighting the fact that the announcement into an investigation never happened:
On page 14 you said this: Was there a quid pro quo – today’s, your opening statement – as I testified previously with regard to requested White House call, White House meeting is yes that there needed to be a public statement from President Zelensky. When the chairman asked you about the security assistance dollars you said there needed to be a public announcement from Zelensky, so I’m asking you a simple question. When did that happen?
“It never did,” Sondland said.
“Never did,” Jordan repeated, noting that Ukraine got the call, meeting, and money.
“They got the call July 25. The got the meeting – not in the White House but in New York – on September 25. They got the money on September 11. When did the meeting happen again?” Jordan asked.
“It never did,” Sondland said.
“You don’t know who was in the meeting?” Jordan pressed.
“Which meeting are you referring to?” Sondland asked.
“The meeting that never happened! Who was in it?” Jordan asked, prompting laughter.
“You know how Zelensky announced it? Did he tweet it? Did he do a press statement did he do a press conference? You know how that happened?” he continued, pointing out that Sondland got “all three of them wrong” and quipping, “It’s not 2+2. It’s 0-3.”
I mean, you got all three of them wrong. They get the call, they get the meeting, they get the money. It’s not 2+2. It’s 0-3. I mean I’ve never seen anything like this. And you told Mr. Castor that the president never told you that the announcement had to happen to get anything. In fact. He didn’t just not tell you that, he explicitly said the opposite. The gentlemen from Texas just read it. You said to the President of the United States, “What do you want from Ukraine?” The President: “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. I want Zelenksy to do the right thing. I want him to so what he ran on.”
“What did he run on Ambassador Sondland?” Jordan asked.
“Transparency,” Sondland said.
“And dealing with corruption right?” Jordan continued.
“That’s right,” the ambassador agreed.
Republican counsel Steve Castor asked Sondland during the hearing, “Did the president ever tell you personally about pre-conditions for anything?” to which Sondland replied, “No.”
In a pair of tweets Wednesday, the president declared the “Impeachment Witch Hunt” over, repeating his exchange with Sondland, in which he told him he wanted “nothing” from Ukraine and “no quid pro quo”:
….”I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO! TELL PRESIDENT ZELENSKY TO DO THE RIGHT THING!” Later, Ambassador Sondland said that I told him, “Good, go tell the truth!” This Witch Hunt must end NOW. So bad for our Country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2019