Gordon Sondland updated his impeachment testimony — with a description of a quid pro quo
There's been a significant modification to the impeachment testimony from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, The New York Times reports.
In four pages of updated testimony released Tuesday, Sondland changed his tune, this time clarifying that he did have knowledge of a possible quid pro quo between the United States and Ukraine, in which military aid to Ukraine may have been withheld until Kyiv carried out anticorruption investigations that President Trump wanted, allegedly for his political gain.
Sondland said he discussed the matter with Andriy Yermak, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. "I said the resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks," Sondland said.
The ambassador did not testify that the existence of a quid pro quo was explicitly relayed to him, just that he personally understood the link between the aid and the investigations to be real at the time.
Sonderland addendum isn't as clear as headlines suggest.
“I said that resumption of the U.S. aid would *likely* not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement..."
"I did not know (and still do not know) when, *why*, or by whom the aid was suspended."
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) November 5, 2019
Still, it's a change from a text message exchange with the the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, William Taylor, in which Sondland said Trump was clear there was no quid pro quo. In the testimony, Sondland also said he thought withholding aid was "ill-advised," regardless of the reasoning. Read more at The New York Times.