After U.S. Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland testified against President Donald Trump in Wednesday’s impeachment inquiry, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has called off his boycott of the Sondland’s Provenance hotel chain.
Sondland had originally defended the president robustly, but seemed to become less adamant in his arguments over time, then in his opening statement, said there had been a “quid pro quo” in which Trump asked the president of Ukraine to conduct investigations, which Democrats allege were politically motivated, as a condition for a White House meeting.
Though Sondland later admitted that he had never actually heard Trump make that demand, and that Trump told him “no quid pro quo,” Democrats were delighted. They’d gotten their sound bite and it was the only thing they ran with in their biased news reports.
I thought it was very odd that, when Republicans reamed Sondland out over that line in his opening, he actually laughed out loud, then smirked and looked all “cat ate the canary” for the rest of it. People don’t usually look so pleased when someone is calling them names! All I could think was, “Someone put the screws to him to put that in his opening and he’s delighted to have the truth made for him.”
Blumenauer’s boycott demand made its way into congressional testimony today, when U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) asked Sondland about it.
“We have countless emails, apparently, to my wife,” Sondland replied. “Our properties are being picketed and boycotted. As I understand it, [protests] are going on as we speak.”
Conaway condemned Blumenauer’s tactics. “Mr. Blumenauer should not be using the vast influences that we have to bully you and your businesses,” Conaway told Sondland. “That’s a shame. I’m hopeful that my colleagues will join me in saying, ‘Mr. Blumenauer, you really shouldn’t be using your congressional influence to try to bully and threaten a witness before these proceedings.”
Sondland thanked Conaway for his words of support.
According to Joel Pollak at Breitbart, federal law prohibits any pressure on a witness to encourage testimony. The federal bribery statute, 18 U.S.C. § 201 (c)(2), punishes anyone who
directly or indirectly, gives, offers, or promises anything of value to any person, for or because of the testimony under oath or affirmation given or to be given by such person as a witness upon a trial, hearing, or other proceeding, before any court, any committee of either House or both Houses of Congress, or any agency, commission, or officer authorized by the laws of the United States to hear evidence or take testimony, or for or because of such person’s absence therefrom.
Democrats say they just want to get at the truth. Yeah, right.