Sondland: Yeah, It Was Trump

Caroline Brehman/Congressional Quarterly via ZUMA

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It appears that Gordon Sondland has decided that he doesn’t want to stand trial for perjury after all:

Gordon D. Sondland, the Republican megadonor turned ambassador to the European Union, told the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday that he and other advisers to President Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Democrats “because the president directed us to do so.”

….“Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the president of the United States,” Mr. Sondland told the committee. “We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we were playing the hand we were dealt.” With no alternative, he said, “we followed the president’s orders.”

Mr. Sondland confirmed what has already been known, that there was a clear “quid pro quo” linking a coveted White House meeting for Ukraine’s president to the investigations Mr. Trump wanted. And he said he was concerned about “a potential quid pro quo” linking $391 million in security aid that Mr. Trump suspended to the investigations he desired.

I’m not sure how many people have to testify about this before it becomes a simple fact, but it’s obviously a simple fact. Donald Trump wanted a public announcement that Burisma and the Bidens were being investigated, and only then would he release Ukraine’s military aid and agree to a White House meeting with Ukraine’s president. He tried to leverage American foreign policy for personal gain, and that’s about as impeachable as it gets.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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