The GOP warned Ambassador Sondland that he'd be 'smeared' by Democrats in the impeachment hearing before turning around and smearing him themselves

gordon sondland photoCaroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

  • US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland gave public testimony as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
  • Rep. Devin Nunes of California, the Republican ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, opened Wednesday's hearing by warning Sondland that he was there "to be smeared" by Democrats.
  • Steve Castor, the minority counsel, then questioned Sondland's credibility as a witness.
  • He said: "You don't have records, you don't have notes because you don't take notes, and you don't have recollections. This is a trifecta of unreliability."
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When US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland sat down to give testimony as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning, he was warned by Republicans that he would be "smeared" by the Democrats. But hours into his hearing, the GOP's legal counsel called his statements a "trifecta of unreliability."

Rep. Devin Nunes of California, the Republican ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, opened Wednesday's hearing by calling the inquiry a "circus" dominated by "asinine accusations."

"Ambassador Sondland, you are here today to be smeared," Nunes warned Sondland about how he believed the Democrats would act.

But hours into Sondland's testimony the Republicans shifted their tone, and Steve Castor, the minority counsel, questioned Sondland's credibility as a witness.

"You don't have records, you don't have notes because you don't take notes, and you don't have recollections," he said. "This is a trifecta of unreliability."

Sondland had told officials that he doesn't take notes, which resulted in gaps in his memory of past events.

In his testimony, Sondland confirmed Trump's quid-pro-quo arrangement with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and he implicated several other government officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former national security adviser John Bolton.

He also testified that Trump instructed him to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to pressure the Ukrainian government into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

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