Remember how U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland initially testified that there was no quid pro quo in closed-door testimony?
Then supposedly he flipped and media trumpeted that he was going to confirm there had been a quid pro quo re: Ukraine.
He did start out saying that when he testified publicly. But then when cross-examined, he backtracked and said he had “presumed that” despite the fact that “no one on the face of the earth” including President Donald Trump had ever said to him that aid should be conditioned on investigations.
Keep that in mind when you read this news that has now dropped after he testified last week.
Three women are accusing Sondland of sexual misconduct that happened before he was the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.
From Fox News:
Sondland, who was thrust into the national spotlight last week when he testified in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump, is accused of forcibly trying to kiss two women in separate incidents and exposing himself to a third. All incidents occurred while Sondland was working as the chairman of Provenance Hotels and before he had been appointed to his role as ambassador.
The sexual harassment claims were first reported by ProPublica and Portland Monthly Magazine. In a statement published on his personal website Wednesday, Sondland denied the claims in the story, calling it “fundamentally false” and “intended to influence congressional proceedings.”
“Ambassador Sondland refutes the allegations entirely and intends to bring a lawsuit against those publications, their management, and others involved as swiftly as possible,” the statement continued.
“No mention was ever made about these three claims in the many preceding years, not even during the Ambassador’s confirmation process, when federal investigators were thoroughly pursuing input about his background, both personal and professional,” Sondland said, adding that reporters had approached Provenance employees “with the unsupported innuendo that sexual harassment had occurred at the company – and then solicited the employees to describe anything similar.”
“Reporters had approached Provenance employees.” So why were reporters trying to dig up dirt on Sondland? Is he suggesting that reporters were involved in trying to influence his testimony if you put his two statements together?
At the very least, it is certainly interesting timing for these claims to drop now. And curious that his story changed from his original testimony.
How was it “intended to influence congressional proceedings” if he has already testified? Unless it was held over his head?