Sondland’s Revision and Extortion

So the Ambassador revised his testimony, and it is significant. Was he heading towards perjury? If so, did he decide it’s best to correct the record? Because prison is not a nice place to be. The last pages of the transcript are extremely significant.

He wrote in his revised statement:

Also, I now do recall a conversation on September 1, 2019, in Warsaw with Mr Yermak. This brief pull-aside conversation followed the larger meeting involving Vice President Pence and President Zelensky, in which President Zelensky had raised the issue of the suspension of U.S. aid to Ukraine directly with Vice President Pence. After that large meeting, I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak, where I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks. I also recall some question as to whether the public statement could come from the newly appointed Ukrainian Prosecutor General, rather than from President Zelensky directly.

Now, this small snippet of text is clear on the intent. We will not resume aid until you do what we want. This is as clear as can be. The President of the United States was pressuring another nation to help dig out dirt for his own political goals.

The Latin term of quid pro quo is accurate. However, for most Americans, a better term will be extortion. This is exactly what this implies. It is a mafia technique and in any other circumstance, it would be enough for a prosecutor, Especially since we have all kinds of corroborating evidence. That is coming via other released transcripts.

It is getting much harder for Republicans to defend any of this. Why? The content is making Richard Nixon look like a Boy Scout, with apologies to Boy Scouts of course. So what is the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee doing? He is now saying that he will not read any of these transcripts. Here you have the Tweet transcribed:

Kathryn Watson

Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says he won’t read any of the transcripts, and dismissed Sondland’s reversal.

“I’ve written the whole process off … I think this is a bunch of B.S.”

Per @alanhe

1:09 PM — Nov 5, 2019

So here we are. At least one member of the Senate has decided that denial of evidence is the best course. It is as if history is once again repeating itself because it is. And a man who will be one of the jurors if this goes to trial has already made his mind. Why? Party before the country of course. And we also must ask, is there any Kompromat on Lindsey Graham? Or is this just partisanship for partisanship's sake?

Given that at one point there seemed to be a coming break, it is significant that Graham is backing off. I wonder if there was some golf with the president?

Defenders will have an increasingly harder time with all this. Why? We are increasingly getting the kind of evidence that is hard to deny. Why some in the Senate are now going, sure, ok, there was quid pro quo, but it’s not something we should indict this president over.

It will get far worse from here. So don’t say I did not warn you.

But if you believe at this point that things will get better, they won’t. And we must ask what is the president’s base going to do if, or when, he is removed from power? Whether that comes through an election, a vote in the Senate, resignation, it really does not matter. They believe in him in ways we have not seen in the recent past.

Oh and here is another prediction, which I hope to be dead wrong. When Democrats take the White House, and Republicans take Congress, I guarantee a revenge impeachment. This is where we are. Why? Republicans believe they are victims and cannot admit that perhaps this president will drag them down.

There is another possibility, which it’s not that likely. Americans will come to see this party as a broken mess and decide to move on from them. It really depends on whether the Fox force field keeps its power, or Americans realize something is truly rotten with this party. If Americans do, it would be similar to the death of the Whigs, which were replaced by the Republicans over a hundred years ago.

In the larger picture, today is extremely significant. So there you have it.

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store