“He [President Trump] said, ‘I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. I just want Zelensky to do the right thing, to do what he ran on.’”
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union
Republican’s on the House Intelligence Committee have tried to make much of this, as did President Trump, claiming that this was proof positive that the President had done nothing wrong.
However, the conversation between Sondland and Trump that resulted in that quote happened on September 7, 2019 – before which, several relevant events had already occurred, including:
- August 12: Whistleblower complaint is filed.
- August 26: Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson sends a letter to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire describing the Whistleblower complaint, saying that it “appears credible” and is a matter of “urgent concern.”
- September 2: A reporter asks Vice President Pence publicly to give definite assurance that there is no connection between the withheld Ukraine aid and an investigation into the Bidens.
- September 3: A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators sends a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney expressing “deep concerns” about the withheld Ukraine aid.
“During our meeting, during our call on September 8th, Ambassador Sondland tried to explain to me that President Trump is a businessman. When a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something, the businessman asks that person to pay up before signing the check. Ambassador Volker used the same language several days later while we were together at the Yalta European Strategy Conference.”
Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
Fiona Hill: “It was very apparent to me that that was what Rudy Giuliani intended, yes – intended to convey that Burisma was linked to the Bidens, and he said this publicly repeatedly.”
Mr. Goldman: “And Mr. Holmes, you also understood that ‘Burisma’ was code for ‘Bidens’?”
David Holmes: “Yes.”
“The delegation then met with President Zelensky and several other senior officials. During the [July 26, 2019] meeting, President Zelensky stated that during the July 25th call, President Trump had “three times, raised some very sensitive issues” and that he would have to follow up.”
Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Ukraine
– rob rünt