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CLAIM: Trump told Sondland that “Zelensky has to announce these investigations.”
FALSE. Adam Schiff relied on third-hand testimony contradicted by Sondland himself.
House - Impeachment - Manager - Rep - Adam
Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) misquoted the testimony of U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland on Thursday evening, as Schiff answered questions in the Senate on the second day of questions-and-answers in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
The distortion started with a question from Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), who misquoted Sondland in her prompt (which was, nevertheless, read dutifully by Chief Justice John Roberts).
Sondland - Trump - Rosen - Sondland - Stalemate
After noting that Sondland testified that Trump told him “no quid pro quo,” Rosen went on to claim: “He also said, according to Sondland, that the stalemate over aid will continue until [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelensky announces the investigations.”
Her question concluded: “Isn’t that the definition of the exact ‘quid pro quo’ that the president claimed didn’t exist?”
Schiff - Answer - Quo
Schiff answered: “The short answer is yes. That’s exactly what a ‘quid pro quo’ is.”
Schiff went on to claim that Trump went on to tell Sondland that “No quid pro quo. At the same time, Zelensky has got to go to the mic to announce these investigations, that’s the implication, and he should want to do it. So, no quid pro quo for the money, but Zelensky’s got to go to the mic.”
Sondland - Trump
But that is not what Sondland said Trump told him.
Here are Sondland’s exact words from his closed-door deposition at Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee:
X - X - Y - Z - Question
And rather than asking him, “Are you doing X because of X or because of Y or because of Z?” I asked him one open-ended question: What do you want from Ukraine?
And as I recaIl, he was in a very bad mood. It was a very quick conversation. He said: I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. I want Zelensky to do...
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