Ohio Congressman Michael Turner ripped holes in Gordon Sondland’s impeachment testimony on Wednesday in a fiery exchange. He blasted Sondland’s “presumptions” as “made-up testimony.”
Sondland opened his testimony at the House impeachment inquiry hearing by claiming that there was quid pro quo between President Donald Trump and Ukraine, but he was unable to provide any actual evidence to back up his accusation.
“See, this is part of the problem, Ambassador Sondland,” an exasperated Turner said, “and I just want to walk you through this … you’ve said to us, ‘everyone was in the loop.'”
As Sondland tried to jump in, Turner cut him off.
“I have listened to you today, as have a lot of people, and not only are your answers somewhat circular, frequently you’ve contradicted yourself in your own answer,” Turner said. “Now the text messages and emails you’ve put up there, Kurt Volker walked us through and he has a completely different understand than what you’re saying.”
“I’m a little confused how everyone is in the loop,” Turner continued, reiterating the fact that no one, including Giuliani, expressly connected aid to Ukraine with investigations.
“Is Donald Trump your friend?” Turner suddenly asked Sondland.
“No, we’re not friends,” Sondland said.
“Ok. Do you like the president?” Turner then asked.
“Yes,” Sondland replied.
“After you testified, Chairman 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?”
Sondland answered by saying he is “presuming” the aid was connected to the investigations.
“No one on this planet told you that Donald Trump was tying this aid to the investigations?” Turner then asked. “Because if your answer is yes then the chairman is wrong and the headline on CNN is wrong.”
Asking the question again, Sondland was forced to answer “yes,” no one has ever directly told him that Ukraine aid was tied to investigations, a statement that rips apart Dems’ conspiracy theories.
“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 asked.
“Other than my own presumption,” a defeated Sondland answered.
“Which is nothing,” Turner quickly responded. “That’s what I don’t understand. So you know what hearsay evidence is, ambassador? Hearsay is when I testify about what someone else told me. Do you know what made-up testimony is? Made-up testimony is when I just presume it. I mean, you’re just assuming all of these things.”
“You do not have any evidence that the president of the United States was tied to withholding aid from Ukraine in exchange for investigations,” Turner said with his final seconds.
It was a rough day for Sondland. He also claimed during his testimony that he had a direct conversation with Vice President Mike Pence about his concern over Ukraine aid being withheld, but Pence’s chief of staff quickly released a public statement saying the conversation between the two “never happened.”
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