‘Devastating for Trump’: Former White House lawyer explains why the president’s defense ‘has entirely collapsed’ with Sondland testimony
Ambassador Gordon Sondland will present “devastating” testimony, as evidenced by leaked copies of his opening statement.
Sondland directly will implicate President Donald Trump for a “quid pro quo” in his opening testimony.
Neal Katyal, the former acting Solicitor General in the Obama administration, offered his analysis of the testimony on Wednesday.
Katyal’s analysis offers the implications for Rudy Giuliani, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who Katyal suggests will need to be subpoenaed by House Democrats.
Here’s Katyal’s analysis of Sondland’s opening statement:
THREAD. I’ve read the Sondland Testimony, and boy is it devastating to Trump. Remember, this is the one guy Trump… https://t.co/r12gCQ3LoN— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258387.0
1.Sondland begins by expressly saying he worked with Giuliani at Trump’s express request, and that he didn’t want t… https://t.co/YitH1Eq0oY— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258388.0
2.Sondland then explicitly confirms the quid pro quo – and SAYS THIS WAS DONE BECAUSE OF THE PRESIDENT’S DESIRES https://t.co/rvNHg64rGm— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258389.0
3. Sondland then says cutting off of military aid was wrong, + that Ukraine needed those funds to fight off Russian… https://t.co/jYlSf5Imo5— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258392.0
4.Sondland describes a totally irregular foreign policy led by private lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and suggests that Sec.… https://t.co/T0lEEk1uGc— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258393.0
5.Sondland now magically remembers the phone call with Trump he failed to mention in his previous testimony (perhap… https://t.co/7xrsnqAe3x— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258395.0
6.Just to make absolutely sure, Sondland then details once again there was a quid pro quo, in a separate section of… https://t.co/Qt8VnvPVVX— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258396.0
7.Sondland says he told Vice President Pence about the quid pro quo around Sept 1. https://t.co/OZeUo8rr4t— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258397.0
8. Sondland repeatedly implies that Pompeo knew the scheme, and that he and NSC were in the loop.— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258398.0
9.BOTTOM LINE 1: Sondland gets closer to telling the truth today, largely because he was caught lying to the commit… https://t.co/DXOi0XJjAy— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258398.0
10.BOTTOM LINE 2 But it is the nail in the coffin on Trump’s claims that his phone call with Ukraine was perfect an… https://t.co/q72W3Cy5xM— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258399.0
11.LOOK FOR IN THE QUESTIONING 1: Sondland omits everything about that highly scripted September 19 set of text mes… https://t.co/KCVFVUSUNr— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258399.0
12. media later reported Sondland & Taylor were texting every few minutes, then all of sudden Sondland stopped, sp… https://t.co/paRFKEBWkd— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258399.0
13.LOOK FOR IN THE QUESTIONING 2: Sondland testified in October (below) he was not aware of preconditions on Ukrain… https://t.co/buifiXBR1k— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258400.0
14.LOOK FOR IN THE QUESTIONING 3: Sondland in October testified he wasn’t aware of Trump’s demands about Biden. Bu… https://t.co/ij20tMY2fy— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258402.0
15. House now has to subpoena their former colleague Pompeo, I suspect.— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258403.0
16.This is just a 1st pass. But my sense is that Sondland did not come close to helping himself enough given his e… https://t.co/sIUrapE9cg— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258403.0
17.Either way, Trump defense has entirely collapsed. It’s clear he committed a grave impeachable offense, even acc… https://t.co/aKoTYn5GQl— Neal Katyal (@Neal Katyal)1574258404.0