Having now read the entire Sondland opening statement, here’s a quick thread on a few things that jumped out.

You can find a link to the entire statement in the story below.

First, Sondland puts Rick Perry right in the thick of things.

He essentially says in May 2019, Trump told Sondland, Perry and others to go to Giuliani to hear what he wants from them and from Ukraine - and Perry did just that.

Then Sondland pivots and says it was actually John Bolton and Bolton’s National Security Counsel who pushed back on scheduling a call with Ukraine President Zelensky not Perry.

This essentially suggests Perry knew the game but wasn’t playing along.

Sondland goes on to claim the people who pushed back on scheduling the pivotal call - which was central to Trump’s shakedown - never told him there was anything amiss.

Translation: The people saying they smelled smoke now never warned poor old me.

Sondland then lays out something rather hard to take at face value.

One day after the pivotal July 25th call, he and others held a long-scheduled, important meeting with Ukraine officials but...

...he alleges he didn’t and doesn’t see a nexus between two things.

A meeting is scheduled for the 26th to talk about working together.

Trump calls to say “I need you to do me a favor...” a day before...

...but Sondland sees no connection btwn the two.

Sure, buddy.

The President of the United States delivered his “offer they couldn’t refuse” the day before his boys showed up to play nice.

He asked for a tithe and then used the meeting the next day to dangle part of the payoff: friendly cooperation.

Sondland goes on to put distance between himself and Rudy while reiterating that Perry and others must have been the frontmen for working with Rood Collood.

Sondland: Jeez, I barely talked to Rudy.

Then Sondy delivers the weakest “How was I to know?” of the whole opening statement.

Rudy mentioned two specific things - the Democratic National Committee’s server and Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian client - but Sondy took the latter to somehow not be political.

Poor Sondland had nooooo idea the specific company Giuliani explicitly mentioned along with Dems’ email server had anything to do with Hunter Biden...

...despite Giuliani having made numerous public statements about the very same Burisma and it’s Hunter Biden connection.
Sure, dude. Sure.

- The President takes a very unusual step of pointing you to his guy
- You find that odd and inappropriate
- You talk to the guy anyway
- He explicitly delivers a political ask
- Yet, you had nary a clue there were politics at work

Suuuuuuuuure, dude.


Sondland threw a lot of stuff at the wall to:
1) try to insulate himself from specific corrupt acts in furtherance of a conspiracy
2) inculpate Giuliani, Perry, and others
3) paint himself as a naive do-gooder shocked to learn all that smoke meant there was a fire.

Sondland is in for a long day today.

His story is so transparently implausible, it reeks of a guy trying to save himself by ratting out everyone else who robbed the bank while claiming he thought they were all just going to the beach.

Good luck selling that one, dude.

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