The American public has seen a global pandemic, a presidential election, a deadly failed insurrection, and an inauguration since former President Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives for the first time in late 2019.
So the testimony of Trump's former Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, may not be vivid in the public memory.
During the House's impeachment probe, Sondland testified that Trump and his allies worked to stall congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine until its government announced an investigation into the business dealings of then-candidate Joe Biden's son, Hunter.
Sondland told representatives at the time:
"In the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I later came to believe that the resumption of security aid would not occur until there was a public statement from Ukraine committing to the investigations of the 2016 election and Burisma, as [Trump's personal lawyer Rudy] Giuliani had demanded."
Sondland refused to resign from the administration after his testimony, but Trump fired him months later, immediately after being acquitted by the Republican-majority Senate in his impeachment trial.
Now, Sondland is suing former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the United States government for $1.8 million in legal fees, claiming Pompeo broke his promise that the State Department would cover Sondland's legal fees.
The suit reads in part:
"Ambassador Sondland confirmed he would not resign because he did not do anything improper. After that, everything changed. Ambassador Sondland did not receive his attorneys' fees, notwithstanding the promises from the State Department that the attorneys' fees would be paid."
Some found themselves rooting for Sondland.
Is it weird to root for the plaintiff in a lawsuit? https://t.co/dDNo0XT8lm— Philip Meowlowe (@Philip Meowlowe) 1621893288.0
Good for him. Go Gordon Sondland, I hope you win! https://t.co/qUeSDKw0Gm— Deborah MacPherson 🇺🇸 (@Deborah MacPherson 🇺🇸) 1621873574.0
Good job. https://t.co/dKAgh4KRAR— AMERICA IS ON THE MOVE AGAIN!! (@AMERICA IS ON THE MOVE AGAIN!!) 1621867939.0
Others don't think the development features any heroes.
Is it possible for both Pompeo and Sondland to lose? https://t.co/FC6mR6cEhD— One down, one to go (@One down, one to go) 1621862759.0
So, a person who backed 45 & trusted Pompous - shouldn't have actually trusted 45 & Pompous, is now trying to sue.… https://t.co/XWj61i3wHx— NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN! They are complicit! ❤✌🔬📚 (@NEVER VOTE REPUBLICAN! They are complicit! ❤✌🔬📚) 1621869673.0
What's the old saying about no honor amung thieves? https://t.co/mHrVCIP9xb— Jason Michel (@Jason Michel) 1621872287.0
The rats are suing each other. So delicious. https://t.co/JDoWkJlgwL— Kevin Robbins (@Kevin Robbins) 1621877298.0
Regardless, they don't want government dollars put forth to pay for the suit.
Lololol I can’t stop laughing at this. Sondland is an absolute tool who got what he deserved but I wouldn’t mind se… https://t.co/sxW6trhycN— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@Holly Figueroa O'Reilly) 1621872094.0
KMA Gordon,💩 NOT with my tax💲 You play, YOU PAY. https://t.co/O8DkDy5dw5— Mommy2Juan (@Mommy2Juan) 1621885207.0
Taxpayers should not be paying any of this! https://t.co/e0EtUf5u0H— mary delellis (@mary delellis) 1621891924.0
Sondland's lawyer has emphasized that the former ambassador holds "no ill will" toward Pompeo.