Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) hammered U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland on Wednesday during Democrats’ impeachment inquiry hearing on the House Intelligence Committee. Hill got Sondland to admit that “no one on this planet” told him that financial assistance to Ukraine was connected to any investigations.
“After you testified, Chairman [Adam] Schiff ran out and gave a press conference and said he gets to impeach the president of the United States because of your testimony and if you pull up CNN today, right now, their banner says ‘Sondland ties Trump to withholding aid,'” Turner said. “Is that your testimony today, Ambassador Sondland? That you have evidence that Donald Trump tied the investigations to the aid? Because I don’t think you’re saying that.”
“I’ve said repeatedly Congressman, I was presuming,” Sondland replied.
“So, no one told you?” Turner fired back. “Giuliani didn’t tell you? Mulvaney didn’t tell you? Pompeo didn’t tell you? Nobody else on this planet told you that Donald Trump was tying aid to these investigations, is that correct?”
“I think I already testified,” Sondland responded.
“No, answer the question,” Turner shot back. “Is it correct? No one on this planet told you that Donald Trump was tying aid to the investigations? Because if your answer is ‘yes,’ then the chairman is wrong and the headline on CNN is wrong.”
As the exchange was taking place, the chyron on CNN stated: “SONDLAND: ‘YES’ THERE WAS QUID PRO QUO IN UKRAINE SCANDAL.”
“No one on this planet told you that President Trump was tying aid to investigations, yes or no?”
“Yes,” Sondland responded.
“So, you really have no testimony today that ties President Trump to a scheme to withhold aid from Ukraine in exchange for these investigations?” Turner pressed.
“Other than my own presumption,” Sondland replied.
“Which is nothing,” Turner fired back.
🚨🚨🚨 STORY OF THE SONDLAND HEARING 🚨🚨🚨
Courtesy of @RepMikeTurner ➡️
Q: No one else on this planet told you that Donald Trump was tying aid to these investigations, is that correct?
A: Yes. pic.twitter.com/GqV6vwZ0a1
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) November 20, 2019
Earlier in the hearing, Sondland told Chairman Adam Schiff: “I finally called the president, I believe it was on the 9th of September, I can’t find the records and [the State Department] won’t provide them to me, but I believe I just asked him an open-ended question, Mr. Chairman.”
Sondland told Schiff that he asked Trump: “What do you want from Ukraine? I keep hearing all these different ideas and theories and this and that. What do you want?”
“It was a very short abrupt conversation, he was not in a good mood, and he just said, ‘I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky to do the right thing,’ something to that effect,” Sondland continued. “So I typed out a text to Ambassador Taylor and my reason for telling him this was not to defend what the president was saying, not to opine on whether the president was being truthful or untruthful, but simply to relay I’ve gone as far as I can go. This is the final word that I heard from the president of the United States.”