Key points in Sondland’s prepared testimony
Sondland’s opening statement also gives a blunt answer to the question of whether there was a “quid pro quo”: He says: “The answer is yes”.
He then goes on to give his version of key events central to the impeachment enquiry.
The July 10th meeting at the White House with the national security advisor to Zelensky:
I recall mentioning the pre-requisite of investigations before any White House call or meeting. But I do not recall any yelling or screaming as others have said.
The July 25th phone call between Trump and Zelensky:
Looking back, I find it very odd that neither I, nor Ambassador Taylor, nor Ambassador Volker ever received a detailed read-out of that call with the Biden references. Now, there are people who say they had concerns about that call. No one shared any concerns about the call with me at the time, when it would have been very helpful to know.
The July 26th phone call he had with Trump at a restaurant in Kyiv:
The call lasted five minutes … We did not discuss any classified information. Other witnesses have recently shared their recollection of overhearing this call. For the most part, I have no reason to doubt their accounts. It is true that the president speaks loudly at times. It is also true that we discussed A$AP Rocky. It is true that the president likes to use colorful language. While I cannot remember the precise details — again, the White House has not allowed me to see any readouts of that call — the July 26 call did not strike me as significant at the time. Actually, I would have been more surprised if President Trump had not mentioned investigations, particularly given what we were hearing from Mr. Giuliani about the president’s concerns. However, I have no recollection of discussing vice-president Biden or his son on that call or after the call ended.
The September 1 Warsaw meeting where Sondland told the Ukrainians that an announcement about investigations would get them the $400m of held-up military aid:
During the actual meeting, President Zelensky raised the issue of security assistance directly with vice-president Pence. The vice-president said he would speak to President Trump about it. Based on my communications with Secretary Pompeo, I felt comfortable sharing my concerns with Mr Yermak. In a very brief pull-aside conversation, that happened within a few seconds, I told Mr Yermak that I believed that the resumption of US aid would likely not occur until Ukraine took some kind of action on the public statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.
Finally, Sondland also provides a series of emails between himself and senior figures including John Bolton and Mike Pompeo. The final one is a September 4 email from Pompeo to Sondland:
“All good. You’re doing great work; keeping banging away.”