Well, the Wednesday morning impeachment hearing certainly started off with a bang. The opening statement of Ambassador Gordon Sondland was released to the media a few minutes before the start of Day 4 of the sham hearings led by spiteful partisan Adam Schiff.
The media was all a-twitter that Sondland was going to bring down the president, that this was a John Dean moment, but then we heard the statement from Sondland himself, and he pretty much told us what we already knew — that President Trump wanted the Ukranians to get to the bottom of corruption involving the 2016 U.S. election and also the dirty-dealing of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
We also found out what we have heard from multiple witnesses — no one in the diplomatic corps liked Rudy Giuliani or his involvement in Ukraine.
In addition, Sondland confirmed that it was no secret that Giuliani was representing the president as his personal lawyer and that he was trying to get to the bottom of Ukrainian corruption as it affected US interests. Sondland said he did not like working with Giuliani but did so because it was important to convince the president that it was important to resume aid to Ukraine. That’s also what we heard from many other witnesses.
The question is “where is the bombshell?” After all, Giuliani had been all over TV talking about Ukraine, the Bidens and Burisma, and interference in the 2016 election. If I knew what Giuliani was up to while I was sitting in my living room in Montana, why would it be a bombshell that Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also knew?
The biggest “bombshell” is that Sondland said “there was a quid pro quo” in our relations with Ukraine — namely that President Zelensky would investigate corruption (presumably involving the Bidens and Burisma) in exchange for a better relationship with Trump and the US. That’s it.
I mean, that’s red meat to Comrade Schiff, but it’s really business as usual. All diplomacy is “quid pro quo” or “this for that.” Indeed, that’s the very purpose of negotiation. You give me what I want, and I will give you what you want.
The only thing that would make it improper would be if the “quid pro quo” were being offered for a corrupt purpose. The Democrats insist that investigating whether VP Biden corruptly exercised his power in Ukraine should have been off- limits because Biden was a potential political rival to President Trump.
That has always struck me as absurd. Biden’s status as a candidate should not give him a free pass to avoid responsibility for his actions. Nor should Trump be considered “corrupt” for the sole reason that he wanted to expose what he saw as potential corruption in the Ukraine regarding not just the Bidens, but also Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election.
Sondland definitely comes off as a self-server who will say whatever makes him look good. Right now he seems to think it is in his interest to knife President Trump in the back. Fortunately, from what I can tell, he doesn’t have a knife.
Let’s see where the questioning takes us. Maybe the Democrats will find a way to spin this into a devastating blow, but from what I can tell Sondland just confirmed what we already knew.
WHO WE ARE
Frank Miele has spent four decades in the news business and now offers conservative commentary to counter the left-wing bias in the national media. If you enjoy reading these daily essays, I hope you will consider purchasing one of my books. They are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. My new book — “The Media Matrix: What if everything you know is fake?” — shows that Fake News has been around for years. The “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy tackles the politics of the last two decades: Part 1 is subtitled “Bush’s Global Failure: Half Right.” Part 2 is “Obama’s Fundamental Transformation: Far Left.” Part 3 is “Trump’s American Vision: Just Right.” Also consider subscribing to Heartland Diary on YouTube by clicking here for News Every Conservative Can Use.