In a stunning reversal that further confirms the notion of a quid pro quo, US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland says that after he first testified, he began to remember fresh details about a link between US security aid and Ukrainian investigations of President Donald Trump’s political rival Joe Biden.
Sondland filed and the House Intelligence Committee released a three-page sworn addendum to congressional testimony Tuesday in which he said that reading testimony from other witnesses reminded him of some key details. Here they are:
- The conversation — He does now recall telling a Ukrainian official on September 1 that military and security aid was directly tied to a public commitment from Ukraine to investigate meddling in the 2016 US election and, separately, Burisma, the company that put Hunter Biden on its board.
- The text message — September 1 is the same day Bill Taylor, the top US official who was raising the alarm in Ukraine, texted Sondland the message, “Are we now saying that security assistance and White House meeting are conditioned on investigations?” Sondland replied then with a “call me.”
- The Warsaw meeting — He transmitted this message to a Ukrainian political aide, Andriy Yermak, on the sidelines of a meeting in Warsaw between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Vice President Mike Pence.
- Conditions for release of aid — The public statement would have to come straight from Ukraine’s President, but Sondland can’t remember if it was Rudy Giuliani, the President’s personal lawyer or Kurt Volker, the US special envoy for Ukraine who told him that.
- Memory still fuzzy — He can’t remember how many times he talked to President Trump between September 6-9, when he texted “no quid pro quo” to Taylor.
- Cut off — The White House won’t give him access to phone logs so he can figure it out.
- No disagreement — Sondland has no reason to doubt the testimony of Taylor or Tim Morrison, the NSC Russia expert who corroborated him.