Politics: Sondland, a key impeachment witness, faces potential credibility questions from both sides - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Sondland, a key impeachment witness, faces potential credibility questions from both sides

00:25  20 november  2019
00:25  20 november  2019 Source:   latimes.com

David Holmes testimony: State department aide confirms Trump-Sondland call about Ukraine investigations

  David Holmes testimony: State department aide confirms Trump-Sondland call about Ukraine investigations David Holmes, the state department aide who overheard President Donald Trump's conversation with the US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, said that Sondland told Trump that the Ukranian President would do "anything you ask him to," and that he confirmed the Ukrainians were going to "do the investigation.""Sondland told Trump that (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky 'loves your ass,'" Holmes said, according to a copy of his opening statement obtained by CNN. "I then heard President Trump ask, 'So, he's gonna do the investigation?' Ambassador Sondland replied that 'he's gonna do it,' adding that President Zelensky will do 'anything you ask him to.

Witness impeachment , in the law of evidence of the United States, is the process of calling into question the credibility of an individual testifying in a trial. The Federal Rules of Evidence contain the rules governing impeachment in US federal courts.

Impeachment is an attack upon the credibility of a witness and the trial court retains discretion to admit or exclude evidence offered for impeachment [i] The trial judge also has discretion to exclude questions designed only to impeach the witness , which would, if answered, tend to disparage third

WASHINGTON — When Gordon Sondland enters the ornate House hearing room for televised testimony on Wednesday morning, he’ll be something of a jump ball in the contest between Republicans and Democrats to control narratives of the Ukraine case — a witness who could provide crucial testimony for either side, but whom both regard with suspicion.

a man standing in front of a building: WHO ARE THE THREE AMIGOS? In testimony released November 5 Sondland told House lawmakers he first heard that Trump wanted a probe into Burisma from Volker, Perry and his former chief of staff Brian McCormack, who had all been in touch with Giuliani. Perry's name came up in Sondland's testimony 114 times. Sondland said he first connected Burisma with the Bidens after Perry, Volker and McCormack told him about unspecified conditions that had to be met prior to the White House's granting Zelenskiy a meeting with Trump. It did not come up in the testimony whether Perry had directly told Sondland that Trump wanted a probe of the Bidens. Sondland testified that Perry © Provided by Reuters News & Media Inc. WHO ARE THE THREE AMIGOS? In testimony released November 5 Sondland told House lawmakers he first heard that Trump wanted a probe into Burisma from Volker, Perry and his former chief of staff Brian McCormack, who had all been in touch with Giuliani. Perry's name came up in Sondland's testimony 114 times. Sondland said he first connected Burisma with the Bidens after Perry, Volker and McCormack told him about unspecified conditions that had to be met prior to the White House's granting Zelenskiy a meeting with Trump. It did not come up in the testimony whether Perry had directly told Sondland that Trump wanted a probe of the Bidens. Sondland testified that Perry "volunteered to make the first outreach" to Giuliani about Ukraine policy because he was the most familiar with him. Lawmakers want to know what Giuliani told Perry in that outreach. Pictured: U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland departs after testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 28, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Sondland said he was acting on Trump’s orders, aide told investigators

  Sondland said he was acting on Trump’s orders, aide told investigators Tim Morrison, a top White House national security aide, told impeachment investigators that Gordon Sondland — a U.S. ambassador at the center of the Ukraine scandal imperiling Donald Trump’s presidency — claimed to be acting on Trump’s orders, and was regularly in touch with him. © Provided by Politico, LLC Top White House national security aide Tim Morrison. “Every time you went to check to see whether he had, in fact, talked to the president, you found that he had talked to the president?” one lawmaker wondered, according to a transcript of Morrison’s testimony released Saturday.“Yes,” Morrison replied.

Both sides seek to make case with nine witnesses in three days. Earlier: Trump-Sondland Call Recalled ‘Vividly’ by Impeachment Witness . Vindman, set to testify Tuesday morning, will face questions about several key moments he witnessed first-hand, including the April 21 and July 25

Impeaching a witness with a prior inconsistent statement is the most common and effective forms of impeachment . The objective of impeachment is to establish that the witness is not a trustworthy witness , hence the reason it is referred to as attacking the witness ’s credibility !

A former big-dollar donor to Republicans rewarded with a plum ambassadorship, Sondland says he told the Ukrainians that U.S. foreign aid and a White House meeting with the president was contingent on conducting investigations into the Biden family.

And unlike other witnesses in the impeachment case, Sondland had direct conversations with President Donald Trump about relations with Ukraine, making him a key witness.

But Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, has already had to change the story he presented to impeachment investigators — the result of reading other witnesses’ opening statements that he said had “refreshed (his) recollection.”

That has made Sondland potentially not only one of the most important witnesses, but also one of the least credible — a perilous combination. His testimony could bolster the Democratic case or give Republicans an opening to undercut it.

Alexander Vindman's lawyer is not helping him or the impeachment effort

  Alexander Vindman's lawyer is not helping him or the impeachment effort Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is many things, including a Purple Heart recipient who took a bomb for our freedoms in Iraq, a career foreign service officer, and, we're told, a great American patriot. What Vindman is not, however, is an important witness to the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Unlike other witnesses who have testified publicly, Vindman had extensive direct contact with Trump throughout the spring and summer. But Vindman only witnessed two disturbing events.

A witness ’s credibility may be attacked or supported by testimony about the witness ’s reputation for FRE 609 Impeachment by Evidence of a Criminal Conviction. evidence that any witness has something on the side that has no important significance in the case in question  then you can’t

The question of witness credibility regarding an expert witness is a question to be determined by a jury. But this does not mean that a jury is at liberty to disregard the testimony when from no reasonable point it is open to doubt[v]. Factors that help a jury in determining witness credibility include[vi]

Neither party is ready in advance to declare Sondland untrustworthy; both hope his testimony could help their side. That could change significantly based on what he says publicly. Lawmakers in both parties are prepping exacting questions.

A central issue in the impeachment inquiry is the extent to which Trump knowingly was involved in efforts to pressure the Ukrainians to investigate Biden and other Democrats.

Sondland’s testimony is key on that point. If he strengthens the link to Trump and comes across as trustworthy, public support for the impeachment inquiry could increase. Conversely, if doubts linger around his truthfulness, Democrats will have a hard time resting their case upon his words.

“He is a first-person (witness), so he’s pretty important to us,” said Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn.

Sondland will be testifying under oath, meaning he could be subject to perjury charges if he is found to be lying to Congress. And he won’t have to stretch too far back in history to find evidence that Congress — and prosecutors — take the offense seriously.

Jordan slams Sondland for omitting Trump’s ‘no quid pro quo’ claim from statement

  Jordan slams Sondland for omitting Trump’s ‘no quid pro quo’ claim from statement Rep. Jim Jordan blasted Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland for omitting President Trump’s apparent claim that he wanted “no quid pro quo” with Ukraine from his opening statement, during his testimony at Wednesday's impeachment hearing.The story of the Trump-Sondland exchange emerged as a key moment for Republicans defending Trump's role in the Ukraine issue. While not mentioning it in his opening statement, Sondland eventually said under questioning that Trump told him "I want nothing, I want no quid pro quo" -- apparently concerning whether military aid and more was tied to his requests for politically advantageous investigations from Ukraine.

The witnesses , both foreign policy experts, said they listened with concern as Trump spoke on July 25 with the newly elected Ukraine president. The government whistleblower’s complaint about that call led the House to launch the impeachment investigation.

Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. Impeachment does not in itself remove the official definitively from office

Former Trump adviser Roger Stone was found guilty last week of lying to Congress, among other charges, and will be sentenced in February. Former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen is serving three years in prison for lying to Congress and other offenses.

Sondland told lawmakers in a sworn statement after his closed-door deposition that during a Sept. 1 meeting with a top adviser to the Ukrainian president, he delivered a dire message: If President Volodymyr Zelenskiy didn’t publicly promise an investigation, military aid and a pivotal White House meeting would not materialize. He called it an “anti-corruption statement.”

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official, told lawmakers in a public hearing Tuesday that Sondland began to deliver a similar warning more than a month earlier. At a July meeting at the White House, Sondland started to tell Ukrainian officials that they had to deliver on the investigations in order to get a White House meeting with Trump, Vindman said.

John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser at the time, cut Sondland off by abruptly ending the meeting, Vindman testified.

Trump's Senate safety net holds firm as Republicans dismiss 'quid pro quo'

  Trump's Senate safety net holds firm as Republicans dismiss 'quid pro quo' Gordon Sondland’s testimony Wednesday upended a key argument Senate Republicans have used to defend President Donald Trump in the impeachment inquiry: no quid pro quo. © Provided by Politico, LLC U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is sworn in before testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. Now that there’s mounting evidence of precisely that, GOP senators may have to reframe their case. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Start studying Witnesses ( Impeachment ). Learn vocabulary, terms and more with flashcards - When a witness is cross-examined as to collateral facts, the party cross-examining will be bound by the - A fact not material to the issues in the case that says nothing about witness ' credibility other than to

Featuring questions and tips from the EEOC to make the most of your investigation. After meeting with the complainant and the subject, the investigator is usually faced with a “he said/she said” situation. Mandatory questions to ask witnesses , as outlined by the EEOC, consist of the following

After the meeting, “I stated to Ambassador Sondland that this was inappropriate and had nothing to do with national security,” Vindman said, referring to the effort to link a demand for investigations to Trump’s official conduct.

Sondland indicated during his closed-door deposition that he didn’t recall much from the July 10 meeting and didn’t recall saying much at all.

Sondland repeatedly told colleagues that in his meetings with the Ukrainians, he was directly representing the president’s views and was in contact with Trump. Many witnesses also place him as a direct and frequent link between Trump and a shadow foreign policy on Ukraine being pursued by the president’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Sondland “related to me he was acting — he was discussing these matters with the president,” former National Security Council official Tim Morrison testified. Each time he checked to see if Sondland actually had spoken with Trump, Morrison said, Sondland’s claim checked out.

Democrats say it will be up to the public to determine Sondland’s trustworthiness.

“I’ll hold judgment on his credibility because this is a time to test evidence,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat and House Intelligence Committee member.

It’s common for witnesses to adjust their testimony during an investigation, Swalwell said. “He has shown a willingness to evolve, and he gave one version of events in his deposition and after other witnesses testified, amended his version.”

Ambassador Sondland's slick move

  Ambassador Sondland's slick move By many accounts, Gordon Sondland delivered the most consequential testimony of the House Democrats' rushed public impeachment proceedings. Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testified in the impeachment hearings Wednesday. He grabbed headlines with a carefully worded opening statement that said: "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?' As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes."Media reaction was instantaneous.

Credibility is not the same as honesty. Two witnesses can give perfectly honest accounts of the The author of the records had not been called to give evidence. The key point was the uncertainty Second, is the slightly different question of whether or not this is a witness who tends to speculate or

Witnesses can help to corroborate or refute the reporter’s account of what happened and shed light on some of the details that the reporter may not have been able or willing to furnish. The most compelling witnesses are, of course, those who actually witnessed the incident.

Some members of the committee defended Sondland, who often said during his closed-door deposition that he didn’t remember events described by others.

“It is interesting that Sondland’s testimony in the deposition was perhaps not complete. What we don’t have evidence of is of him outright lying, right?” said Himes. “The important thing here is there’s no reason to believe that when Gordon Sondland makes a statement, he’s lying.”

Republicans are likewise holding off on attacking the credibility of the former hotel industry executive, but warn that he’ll face questions about the changes to his story.

Sondland made statements “in the addendum that he didn’t state during his deposition,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. “So he’s going to be facing questions off of that.”

He will also face significant questions about a July 26 cellphone call he placed to the president from a Kyiv restaurant. The call only became public last week when William B. Taylor Jr., the acting U.S. ambassador in Ukraine, told lawmakers that one of his staff members, David Holmes, overheard the call.

Holmes testified that he heard Trump ask Sondland about the status of the investigations.

That call, and Trump’s apparent reference to “investigations,” undercuts claims from Republicans that Trump was worried generally about corruption in Ukraine, not about any specific case, and that the president did not link the investigations to the hold on military aid.

Trump said last week that he did not remember the July 26 call.

“No, not at all, not even a little bit,” he said.

Holmes testified he was shocked that Sondland could call Trump directly from a cellphone in Kyiv, a city that security experts say is loaded with Russian intelligence equipment. That sort of ready access to the president gives him added weight as a witness, Democrats say.

“Sondland is important,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat and member of the House Intelligence Committee. “As you can tell, he talked to the president very frequently — he could even call him up on a cellphone apparently from a bar or restaurant in the middle of Kyiv.”

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©2019 Los Angeles Times

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Gordon Sondland won’t quit over sexual misconduct claims .
Gordon Sondland, the American ambassador at the center of the impeachment drama, insists he will not resign over past sexual misconduct claims by three women, according to a report. The envoy to the European Union said Wedmesday through an associate that he has no plans to step down over the allegations, which he denies. “No intention of resigning,” Sondland’s associate told Politico. Three women aired claims this week to ProPublica of what they called Sondland’s inappropriate activity between 2003 and 2011 during his time as a hotel mogul in Portland, Ore., before President Trump appointed him to the plum ambassador post.

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