For months, Trump administration officials have shown the back of their hands to congressional attempts to exercise oversight. Tuesday, that obstinance was ratcheted up to a point that makes impeachment all but inevitable.
President Trump has no one but himself to blame.
Tuesday, the State Department announced that Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union and big Trump donor, would not be permitted to testify before the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment inquiry on the Ukraine affair.
Text messages disclosed last week reveal Sondland to be an instrumental figure in the machinations. In a Sept. 9 text, our top diplomat in Kyiv, Bill Taylor, told Sondland, “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”
Sondland didn’t respond for five hours — a period during which House committees announced probes into the administration’s Ukraine actions and during which Sondland is said to have spoken to Trump.
Eventually, Sondland wrote back: “Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.”
Familiar phrasing? Two weeks later, Trump himself kept repeating it. Sondland was a man on White House-scripted message. No wonder the president, preferring obstruction over what Sondland might tell Congress, admits to blocking a key witness from testifying before what he deems a “kangaroo court.”
Democrats have subpoenaed Sondland. The White House responded with an eight-page letter full of non sequiturs and bogus arguments rejecting “cooperation” with the House. So be it.
New York Daily News