Fireworks erupt in hearing as Democrat slams Sondland for his failure to be candid with the inquiry

Fireworks erupt in hearing as Democrat slams Sondland for his failure to be candid with the inquiry
C-SPAN

Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) sparked a heated exchange with Ambassador Gordon Sondland on Wednesday during his testimony in the impeachment inquiry, first grilling him on the propriety of President Donald Trump's efforts to get Ukraine to launch investigations into his political rivals. He then moved on to lambasting Sondland's candor in his testimony, which he has updated multiple times and reflects big gaps in his memory.


Maloney repeatedly tried to get Sondland to admit that, while Trump was holding leverage over Ukraine, he stood to benefit electorally from the investigation he sought into former Vice President Joe Biden. But it was difficult for Maloney to admit this outright.

"Who would benefit from an investigation of the Bidens?" Rep. Maloney asked repeatedly.

"I assume President Trump would," Sondland finally responded.

"There we have it!" Maloney declared bitingly, to mild applause. "Didn't hurt a bit, did it?"

Sondland was clearly irritated by this line of questioning.

"I’ve been very forthright, and I resent what you’re trying to do," he said.

"Fair enough! You've been very forthright? This is your third try to do so, sir!" Maloney said, now clearly spitting fire himself. "Didn't work so well the first time, did it? We had a little declaration come in after? Remember that? And now we're here from you a third time. And we got a doozy of a statement from you this morning. There's a whole bunch of stuff you don't recall. So all due respect sir, we appreciate your candor, but let’s be really clear what it took to get it out of you."

Watch the clip below:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close