Gordon Sondland is a hotelier and major donor to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.
Since July 2018 he has served as United States Ambassador to the European Union (EU) despite no prior experience in diplomatic relations or foreign policy. He has also come under fire for costly taxpayer funded renovations to the Ambassador's residence in Brussels.
Gordon Sondland is using nearly $1 million in taxpayer funds to overhaul his Brussels ambassador’s residence - $400… https://t.co/vrm3HhnLpc— Paul Sonne (@Paul Sonne) 1571278269.0
Gordon Sondland will be testifying today about how Donald Trump abused our diplomatic relationships for his own per… https://t.co/oxm1lXJ4zh— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren) 1571320758.0
Depending on how Gordon Sondland testifies on Thursday, either HE is going to jail or TRUMP is going to jail.— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@Jon Cooper 🇺🇸) 1571270693.0
Ordered not to testify a week ago by the Trump administration, Sondland defied the order and provided a deposition for the House impeachment inquiry on Thursday. According to his written statement, Rudy Giuliani's claim the State Department asked him to travel to the Ukraine and investigate for them was false.
@Anthony https://t.co/OdR1C6bZy2— KABU (@KABU) 1571320130.0
Sondland stated President Trump directed Giuliani to make contact with Ukrainian officials with the purpose of gaining their help with Trump's 2020 reelection campaign.
#BREAKING: In opening statement we obtained, Gordon Sondland will testify that Trump put on hold effort to strength… https://t.co/QmSrOwzGDE— Manu Raju (@Manu Raju) 1571319012.0
“Based on the President's direction ... We could abandon the goal of a White House meeting for President Zelensky,… https://t.co/EHAolbmpLy— Manu Raju (@Manu Raju) 1571319935.0
Pompeo was looped into these efforts, Sondland testifies. And like other witnesses, he says his documents are with… https://t.co/vLawWviAqK— Manu Raju (@Manu Raju) 1571321498.0
The Daily Show's Anthony DeRosa shared some of the Sondland's written statements on Twitter.
He quoted Sondland and posted:
"I did not understand, until much later, that Mr. Giuliani’s agenda might have also included an effort to prompt the Ukrainians to investigate Vice President Biden or his son or to involve Ukrainians..."
Here's Sondland's opening statement. "I did not understand, until much later, that Mr. Giuliani’s agenda might hav… https://t.co/y4RJn1yhvD— Anthony DeRosa🗽 (@Anthony DeRosa🗽) 1571319566.0
In his opening remarks, Sondland thanked the House Committee and apologized for not appearing previously because of the Trump administration directive.
However the subpoena from Congress allowed him to testify.
@Anthony Surprise! Jail doesn’t seem attractive to a guy working on a million dollar home renovation that he isn’t paying for— Bugjuice (@Bugjuice) 1571323792.0
One excerpt DeRosa shared made it clear Trump and Giuliani's motivations were the 2020 presidential campaign and not any of the various reasons and justifications provided by Trump, the White House and his personal lawyer to date.
@mkraju Who is the “we”? Clearly trying to get Giuliani and Trump under that bus. Privileged Sondland wouldn’t g… https://t.co/Wx1No0otgm— kathy (@kathy) 1571322530.0
But Sondland claimed to have been unaware of their agenda until "later."
@Anthony @NateluvsAmerica https://t.co/MWHeTQDU7J— Daniel Brown (@Daniel Brown) 1571329381.0
@Anthony Mr. Giuliani’s agenda? Isn’t he just the lawyer carrying out orders? Confused.— Fifty Pound Head (@Fifty Pound Head) 1571325032.0
@Anthony Ok, this is him openly admitting that they were trying to have Ukrainians investigate Biden. So far they w… https://t.co/78oPRaZWS8— Sule Ozev (@Sule Ozev) 1571321595.0
@ProfOzev @Anthony And that Trump directed it both personally and through Giuliani— Jonathan Howard 🦃 (@Jonathan Howard 🦃) 1571335332.0
@Anthony https://t.co/Da03gVNTJT— Mohamed Abdinur (@Mohamed Abdinur) 1571321047.0
People again raised the issue of why the State Department or Department of Justice would ask Trump's personal lawyer to do their work for them as Giuliani claimed.
@Anthony @prchovanec Whoa. Reminding everyone: Rudy is/was Trump’s personal lawyer. Don’t ever forget that in the hubbub.— Francie Berens (@Francie Berens) 1571321642.0
@francie_berens @Anthony @prchovanec His second personal lawyer who broke the law... Wonder where the tendency comes from :)— ToniShu (@ToniShu) 1571321883.0
@toni_shu @francie_berens @Anthony @prchovanec It’s a requirement for a job in the administration— loubylousoo (@loubylousoo) 1571330013.0
@mkraju The thing about having a personal lawyer is that his job is to represent your personal interests. There's n… https://t.co/ggvBB3mOP8— Not John Conness, but he gave a good speech once (@Not John Conness, but he gave a good speech once) 1571320098.0
@Anthony https://t.co/t1ugxWDrLR— BlessYourHeart (@BlessYourHeart) 1571320981.0
People also wondered how much later Sondland knew of the President's agenda being enacted by his personal lawyer and what he did with the knowledge.
@mkraju Or door 3, he could have resigned in protest and voiced his concerns to congress and the public— Ruami Grey (@Ruami Grey) 1571320116.0
@mkraju Shorter: we could do what is right; or do what the president says.— fed up (@fed up) 1571321643.0
@mkraju @jaketapper Or.. he could report it to the IG. Sondland sounds like a rube in the backseat of the getaway car.— Libby “Human Scum” Snow (@Libby “Human Scum” Snow) 1571328454.0
The impeachment inquiry continues before the House of Representatives will take a vote based on the inquiries findings. If the House impeaches President Trump, the matter will pass to the Senate for disposition.