Sondland's 7 most important lines during impeachment testimony

The American ambassador to the E.U. appeared before the House Intelligence Committee.
Image: Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies before the House Intelligence Committee during an impeachment inquiry hearing on Nov. 20, 2019.
Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies before the House Intelligence Committee during an impeachment inquiry hearing on Nov. 20, 2019.Loren Elliott / Reuters

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Lauren Egan

Gordon Sondland, the American ambassador to the E.U., delivered explosive testimony in the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday. Here are some of his best lines:

1. "I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a 'quid pro quo'? With regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes."

2. "We followed the president's orders.”

"Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the president of the United States. We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we were playing the hand we were dealt."

3. "Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret" — on how Pence, Pompeo, Bolton and others were aware of his efforts in Ukraine.

4. "That's how the president and I communicate, a lot of four-letter words. In this case, three letter." — recalling telling Trump that Zelenskiy "loves your ass," Sondland said that sounded like something he would say.

5. "I know exactly what it means ... I didn't know at the time." — that investigating Burisma also meant probing the Biden family.

6. "He didn't actually have to do them, as I understood it." — on whether Zelenskiy needed to follow through on carrying out the investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 election after publicly announcing them.

7. "Mr. Giuliani’s requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelenskiy. Mr. Giuliani demanded that Ukraine make a public statement announcing investigations of the 2016 election/DNC server and Burisma. Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the President of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the President."