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U.S. Ambassador to E.U. ‘Does Not Recall’ a Conversation to Cutoff Aid to Ukraine

U.S. Ambassador to E.U. ‘Does Not Recall’ a Conversation to Cutoff Aid to Ukraine

Sondland “strongly opposed the cutoff of aid and believed (and advised internally) that it should be restored unconditionally.”

Acting US Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor told Congress that US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland knew President Donald Trump threatened to cutoff aid to Ukraine if the government did not investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

Taylor also claimed Sondland passed the threat to the Ukrainian government.

However, Sondland’s attorney Robert Luskin said his client does not recall any conversation about cutting off Ukraine.

Sondland told Congress he did not know of the quid pro quo the Democrats have used as their main point to impeach Trump. He admitted he knew Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani secured a visit from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the White House. He “did not know whether the White House had also made security assistance contingent on Zelensky’s committing to launch the probes.”

Once Sondland heard “that security assistance may be tied to the investigations, he paused and called Trump on Sept. 9.”

After the phone call, Sondland texted Taylor:

“The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind,” Sondland wrote. “The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised.”

Taylor insisted Sondland told Zelensky aide Andrey Yermak that the US would withhold aid if the country did not investigate Burisma Holdings. Biden’s son Hunter sat on the company’s border when he served as vice president.

From The Washington Post:

Taylor said he understood that on Sept. 1, Sondland warned Zelensky aide Andrey Yermak that the security assistance “would not come” unless Zelensky committed to pursuing the investigation into Burisma, which could have damaged Joe Biden, a top 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful.

“I was alarmed,” Taylor wrote, saying a national security official had told him the demand was relayed in person by Sondland while the ambassador was traveling in Poland with Vice President Pence. “This was the first time I had heard that the security assistance . . . was conditioned on the investigation.”
The conversation supposedly happened in Warsaw, Poland, when Sondland traveled with Vice President Mike Pence.

But by Taylor’s account, Sondland already knew the terms of the quid pro quo and had relayed them to Zelensky’s aide a week earlier in Poland. Taylor said Sondland also suggested he had said as much in a conversation on Sept. 8 to Zelensky.

“Ambassador Sondland said that he had talked to President Zelenskyy and Mr. Yermak and told them that, although this was not a quid pro quo, if President Zelenskyy did not ‘clear things up’ in public, we would be at a ‘stalemate,’ ” according to Taylor’s written testimony, which used an alternative spelling of the Ukrainian leader’s name. “I understood a ‘stalemate’ to mean that Ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance.”

Luskin emailed the publication:

Responding to questions by email, Sondland’s attorney Robert Luskin wrote to The Washington Post on Wednesday that his client “does not recall” such a conversation.

“Sondland does not recall any conversation in Warsaw concerning the aid cutoff, although he understood that the Ukrainians were, by then, certainly aware of the cutoff and raised the issue directly with Pence,” Luskin wrote.

Luskin said his client “strongly opposed the cutoff of aid and believed (and advised internally) that it should be restored unconditionally.” The attorney said that in seven hours of closed-door testimony last week, Sondland was asked about his discussions in Warsaw but did not recall a meeting as recounted by Taylor.

The Washington Post did not say if Taylor attended the meeting.

Taylor also claimed Sondland told him that he did not want anyone to transcribe or monitor the phone call between Zelensky and Trump.

Luskin retorted Sondland “believes that it was monitored routinely and that an appropriate file memo was prepared. He never suggested otherwise.”

Trump released the transcript of the phone call between him and Zelensky. It shows no pressure to investigate Biden and Burisma Holdings. Trump suggested one with Zelensky happily accepting. Zelensky has also said numerous times Trump did not apply any pressure on him.


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Schiff’s aide visited the Ukraine from 25-31 August, right about the time that the leaks about the president’s phone call started. Wanna bet that Mr. Taylor colluded with Schiff’s aide about his opening statement and was the source of the so-called whistleblower’s false submission? Mr. Taylor’s opening statement was full of outright lies, which is why his actual testimony is not being released.

It appears there’s another conspiracy that requires the AG’s attention.

    ConradCA in reply to Dave. | October 26, 2019 at 12:34 am

    Part of President Trump’s job is the senior law enforcement officer in the Federal government. As such it was his job to ensure that Ukraine complied with the terms of the treaty and provide cooperation with the AG’s investigation. This isn’t Ukraine illegally interfering with our election. It’s the normal operation of Federal law enforcement. Investigating someone for corruption has nothing to do with the 2020 election. It’s putting criminals in prison if they are convicted of a crime. Criminals aren’t immune from investigations or prosecution just because they hope to be running for office.

Gordon Sondland knew President Donald Trump threatened to cutoff aid to Ukraine if the government did not investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

Really? Did he actually specify Joe Biden? Or something or someone else?

I suspect we’re all getting the old verbal razzle-dazzle here. Did DJT suggest that Unkraine investigate either of the Bidens, or did he imply that the government might want to pay some attention to corruption? Certainly concern about generic corruption would be a legitimate US concern; if it’s handing Ukraine a bucket of money, some worry that it might be promptly embezzled by Ukrainian corruptocrats would be justified. That’s not an underhanded quid pro quo, that’s just responsible foreign policy.

    CDR D in reply to tom_swift. | October 24, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    This is it exactly! Wanting Ukraine to look into the 2016 interference is what a responsible executive would do. But because Democrats were suspected of being involved, that is twisted into “Trump wants Ukraine to investigate Democrats”. Joe Biden’s doper son getting 600K a year for being an absentee board member on a corrupt board in a corrupt country deserves to be investigated. Anyone who thinks Ukraine wasn’t buying influence with that is an idiot.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to tom_swift. | October 24, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    Tom it’s just another FAKE STORY – a Total Lie in
    Deplorable Language……..

    Arminius in reply to tom_swift. | October 24, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    This is precisely what happened to $1.8 U.S. taxpayer-guaranteed IMF aid under Obama/Biden. Investigators (unspecified; probably Ukrainian prosecutors) discovered missing and unaccounted for from the National Bank of Ukraine. Further investigation discovered the funds. In a bank controlled by Ihor Kolomski in Cyprus (You may have seen the name transliterated as Kolomsky or Kolomskyi but they are all correct as the only proper spelling is in Cyrillic) in a bank account controlled by Kolomski.

    Kolomski is also the controlling partner in Burisma through his Privat Group, and he hired Hunter Biden for the no-show, purely ceremonial position on Burisma’s board of directors.

    Not only didn’t the Obama administration stupidly (or more likely complicitly) give the money to Ukraine no-strings-attached thereby screwing the U.S. (judging by their looting the U.S. on behalf of Iran their favorite activity) but Biden used the threat of withholding another U.S. loan guarantee to extort the Ukrainian government to fire the Prosecutor looking into corruption at Burisma.

    But if withholding military aid to Ukraine is an impeachable offense then we have a crystal clear example of it. But since it wasn’t Trump then the rabid dogs running the Democrat party aren’t interested in it.

    “The delivery of Island-class cutters to Ukraine had been in the works since 2014, when Russian forces seized Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, which was home to a large portion of Ukraine’s navy. Transferring the Island-class cutters to Ukraine was intended to increase Ukraine’s naval capabilities. However, the deal was DELAYED [emphasis: mine] for years as details were worked out, according to a report from The Atlantic Council.”

    Why did Obama delay the transfer of these patrol boats (WPB in USCG service) for the entire second half of his presidency? We do this routinely. WWII and later era USN and USCG decommissioned, surplus-to-U.S.-requirements (if we think we need them they are in the mothball fleet) warships have been transferred to foreign navies for decades since shortly after WWII. Perhaps only a Sailor would know this bit of trivia but the Argentinian Navy ARA General Belgrano was the former USS Phoenix (CL-46) of WWII fame. She had survived Pearl Harbor unscathed, raising highly effective AA fire within seconds of spotting the “flaming red @$$hole of Japan” as American POWs of the Japanese armed forces called it (this was true of true of all ships that engaged the attacking IJN naval air arm as returning Japanese pilots reported the US ships in port had raised effective AA within five minutes despite achieving complete surprise and it was only going to get worse for them during the war as during every refit of pre-war and early war ship classes the AA batteries were upgraded to almost ridiculous levels when you consider what the added weight did to their sea keeping abilities with later classes designed from the drawing board to incorporate the batteries; beginning in 1942 during the Naval Battles of Guadalcanal the dwindling numbers of surviving Japanese aircrew who returned to their carriers or land bases were often too traumatized to speak), earned 11 battlestars, only to be sold to Argentina in 1951 and sunk by the Royal Navy Attack Submarine HMS Conqueror in 1982.

    The famous photo of the General Belgrano taken through the Conqueror’s periscope right before the RN sub put two MK8 torpedoes into her (of three fired; the third glanced of the stern but didn’t explode; all in all, good shooting).×315/ara-belgrano.jpg

    The USN mourned the loss of the former USS Phoenix which had fought so valiantly during the war, and laid a wreath during a memorial service at Pearl Harbor on the 25th anniversary of her demise.

    The light cruisers (designation CL with a main armament of 6″ bore or less) were actually intended for escort duty, particularly of the aircraft carriers, while the heavy cruisers (designation CA with a main armament of 6.1″ bore or larger) were intended for surface action. But during the Naval Battles of Guadalcanal the heavy cruisers which primarily consisted of the “treaty cruisers” of the Northampton-class and Portland class built during the early 1930s and kept to the 10,000 ton displacement limit/8″ bore limit of the Washington Naval Treaty and the only slightly larger New Orleans class which only displaced 2,500 tons over the treaty limit proved extremely vulnerable in surface actions, particularly against the long lance torpedoes which formed the main armament of Japanese destroyers.

    The USS New Orleans and USS Minneapolis both had there bows shot off at the Battle of Tassaforanga in November 1942.

    This was not entirely unexpected as after building the Pensacola class the USN concluded no 10,000 ton heavy cruiser could perform the assigned mission. Generally heavy cruisers, battle cruisers, and battleships were armored to withstand the impact of ships of an enemy ship of the same category and similar armament but the treaty cruisers were not constructed to that standard. The heavy armament of nine or ten 8″ bore guns made the ships too heavy to handle the armor belt and deck armor they really needed.

    So against Japanese surface forces the USN soon figured out that the light Brooklyn-class cruisers with their fifteen 6″ gun main battery were far more effective when on the offense and far less vulnerable to Japanese fire. They could fire far more rapidly than the heavy cruisers and they had at least 5 or 6 more guns. When they fired the muzzle flashes made the ships appear to the Japanese sailors on the receiving end as if they were on fire. They weren’t but the Japanese ships they engaged soon would be. The Japanese nicknamed them “machine gun cruisers.”

    So the light cruisers were (except for the light anti-aircraft cruisers such as the Atlanta-class, designated CLAA, after the only two ships of the class that engaged in surface actions were sunk) often detached from escort duty to replace the heavy cruisers which were then assigned to escort duty in return.

    Sorry for the digression into WWII history. We are smack dab in the middle of the 75th anniversary of The Battle of Leyte Gulf. It consisted of five distinct engagements, but they are all lumped into one overarching battle historically because they all resulted in from one Japanese battle plan; Sho Go 1. The USN Sailors fought so heroically, as many of you have read in Hornfischer’s “Last Stand Of The Tin Can Sailors,” that it was the American Sailors who fought with Yamato damashi, the spirit of the samurai willing to die in battle and fighting until their ships were literally shot out from under them while the Japanese did not. There are reasons for this which, if no one minds, I’m going to write about in a follow-on comment. The lessons from that battle still shaped the Navy that I joined in the 1980s and are still relevant today. Which is why so many of us were disgusted when ten Sailors meekly surrendered two Riverine Command Boats to the IRGCN off Farsi Island. Which some reported crying as they were captured.

    Tom Hanks in “A League Of Their Own,” about a girls’ baseball team during WWII when the best baseball players in the Men’s league went to war, chewed out one of his players and she started crying, famously said, “There’s no crying in baseball!” There’s no crying in what should have been naval warfare. It’s not entirely the fault of the two five-member crews but still it was disgusting.

    But again, I reiterate, what “details” prevented the Obama administration from transferring two patrol boats to Ukraine. I can’t think of one, except for the fact that Obama refused to transfer any lethal arms to Ukraine. So clearly the stated reason,
    “the deal was delayed for years as details were worked out.” couldn’t possibly be true. It is my well-informed opinion, based on the craven and feckless character of Barack Obama and the sycophants he surrounded himself with that he avoided antagonizing at all costs Iran’s patron Vladimir Putin. The promise of these two minor vessels (they’re capable for their size but in the big scheme of things they are simply small craft) was like Obama’s red lines; just empty talk. How about we investigate that?

      Arminius in reply to Arminius. | October 24, 2019 at 11:20 pm

      My bad. As any idiot can see the Conqueror took that pic after torpedoing the Belgrano and she was sinking. I meant to point out the life rafts in the foreground. I closed the tab after copying the link and I forgot which picture I had linked to, thinking of the “before” picture instead. Lesson learned: don’t have too many tabs open at once.

GeorgeCrosley | October 24, 2019 at 3:17 pm

Cut off. Two words when it’s a verb phrase, one if it’s a noun or adjective.

    Is this the grammar, spelling, and word error thread? I have one to add: “Biden’s son Hunter sat on the company’s border…” Please change “border” to “board.”

The truth:

The commie party, the democrats, are lying about everything. There is nothing they do that has any truth.

This is a lie, like all the others, built cleverly as a “he said” even though “he” says it didn’t happen.

The real problem? Nearly half of the citizens in this country are either stupid enough to fall for this swindle, or are willing participants.

I understand that on October 10, Adam Schiff said that he likes to fellate goats. He may deny ever saying that, but I was alarmed when I heard it so it must be true.

On a completely unrelated topic: I’m pretty sure there’s a reason that hearsay is not admissible as evidence in court.

So once again, there’s no “there” there. Of course, the dumbass Democrat response will be “Look! Over there!”.

If I rolled my eyes any harder, I’d be able to see through my nostrils.

So Taylor does not have any first hand knowledge of quid pro quo, only hearsay. Meanwhile, Sondland, who does have first hand knowledge, says it wasn’t there. Only in the world of the Democratic Party and Schiff’s perversion of reality is hearsay more important and admissible that actual firsthand testimony.

Hunter Biden was paid $3 million working for Burisma when he had a history after which no sane company would hire him. In addition he had no experience in Ukraine, didn’t speak the language and had no knowledge Burisma’s business. His fatter was the US VP and was able to kill an investigation int Burisma by threatening $1 billion of our aid to Ukraine for which he was paid $93,000. Furthermore, VP Biden was recorded bragging about getting the prosecutor fired by Ukrainee. This sure looks like corruption begging to be investigated.

Oops! It Joe was paid $930,000, not $93,000.