Geez, what happened this week? A lot, actually—and not just those impeachment hearing thingamabobs. For one, the President Trump “opened” an Apple factory that had actually been operational for six years. Speaking of questionable statements, the president’s press secretary claimed Obama administration aides left behind nasty notes, which administration officials denied. There was another Democratic presidential primary debate, Netflix crashed and panicked the world as it did so, someone in Hollywood thought Julia Roberts could play Harriet Tubman, and we all discovered that the Queen can fire royal relatives. It’s been quite a week, this week, but there’s also been all of this, too.
Gordon Sondland’s Big Day
What Happened: As the impeachment inquiry against President Trump continued, one witness made it very clear indeed: Yes, there was a quid pro quo, and yes, the president was the one behind it.
What Really Happened: The impeachment proceedings investigating President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine continued last week in a genuinely explosive manner, with multiple public testimonies stating the president was withholding US military aid until Ukrainian authorities announced an investigation into the son of his political opponent, Joe Biden.
In a week of damning testimonies and revelations, however, none were more damning than US Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s midweek session, which proved to be perhaps a game changer. How best to describe Sondland’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday? This image does a pretty good job:
That reminds me of … something …
Oh, yeah; that’s it. But what could he have said that was so big?
As Sondland continued, a running theme began emerging in people’s responses to what they were watching.
Well, that and admiration for the fact that Sondland’s explanation for discrepancies between his Wednesday testimony and earlier testimonies involved throwing the Trump administration under the bus.
Sondland seemed to be enjoying his moment in the spotlight—or, at least, he did during his opening statements.
That didn’t exactly last, as cross-examination proved that everyone doing the questioning remembered that he hadn’t been entirely honest throughout the entire experience.
As Sondland’s testimony and questioning continued, two things were being utterly decimated: the president’s credibility, and the attention span of anyone who had originally intended to do anything else that day; history, after all, seemed to be unfolding.
The Takeaway: We shouldn’t assume that Sondland was some kind of altruistic hero, despite the effects his revelations may have, however, as became obvious as his impatience with events—and his desire to make his flight home—made increasingly clear as the day wore on.
President Trump’s Notes Go Viral