President Trump has described many officials as “Never Trumper” whenever they offer damning accounts of his conduct with regard to Ukraine. Gordon D. Sondland, a wealthy Oregon hotelier who donated to the president’s campaign and was rewarded with his plum diplomatic post, can hardly be dismissed as a “Never Trumper.” Thus, his testimony provided Democrats with a valuable piece of evidence from a critical witness to fill out the picture of their abuse-of-power case against the president.
Sondland, an ally of Mr. Trump who is the United States ambassador to the European Union, has testified against Trump. In his testimony before the House committees, he admitted that in September, he’d told a top Ukrainian official that Trump would “likely” withhold U.S. military aid (nearly $400 million) to Ukraine unless the country’s leaders agreed publicly to launch anti-corruption investigations (against Joe Biden and his son) in a way that could benefit Trump politically.
According to him: “I said that resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.” In his original testimony behind closed doors, Sondland had previously asserted that Trump had not dangled U.S. aid to Ukraine in return for political favors.