Fox News personality Judge Andrew Napolitano disagreed with other panelists on “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning when it came to assessing the impeachment inquiry deposition that was given by EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland the day before.
Sondland had testified that President Donald Trump was indeed pushing for a quid pro quo arrangement with Ukraine, withholding military aid in order to coerce that nation to announce investigations that would benefit him politically.
“Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ With regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is ‘yes,'” Sondland testified to on Wednesday.
But the president’s response to that testimony was to highlight the fact that Sondland also stated that Trump didn’t directly ask for a quid pro quo. Indeed, Trump, in speaking with reporters on Wednesday, quoted Sondland who had said the commander-in-chief said “I want nothing” to him in a phone call on September 9.
Trump appears to be using the phrasing Sondland testified to as proof that he’s innocent. But that call happened after the White House became aware of the whistleblower report, CNN reported, which makes it look more like a statement of deniability than an unprompted retort to questions from Sondland.
Indeed, acting Ukraine Ambassador Bill Taylor as well as National Security Council member Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman testified that it was widely understood among them and others that a public statement announcing investigations into Burisma and the Bidens was needed before a meeting with Trump and Ukraine could happen, or military aid could be released to that nation.
Andrew Napolitano: Gordon Sondland "is not a Never Trumper. He is not a Democrat. … This is a guy who's given $1 million to the Republican Party, and is the most important Trump-nominated ambassador in Europe, and he's saying 'this is what happened.'" pic.twitter.com/xEMiJykrLN
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) November 21, 2019
Napolitano stated that there’s still a lot for Trump and his allies to defend against when it comes to the issue of possibly impeaching him.
“I think the Democrats do still have a case,” Napolitano stated, per reporting from Newsweek. “It’s clear from what Ambassador [Gordon] Sondland testified yesterday that there was an understanding the president wanted some things from the Ukrainians.”
“Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy tried to interject by saying that Sondland admitted in his testimony that a lot of his accusations of a quid pro quo were based on presumptions on his part. Napolitano shrugged that idea off, however, pointing out that there is “a lot of evidence in which you can base the presumption.”
Additionally, Napolitano brought up the point that Sondland wasn’t a typical witness — even though Trump was now trying to say Sondland is someone he didn’t know that well, Napolitano pointed out that he’s not a “Never Trumper” and that he doesn’t have ties to the Democratic Party.
Indeed, Sondland has been a strong supporter of Trump’s for some time now, and even donated $1 million to his inauguration committee. Without any diplomatic background whatsoever before joining the administration, some speculate it was that donation that led to Sondland getting the ambassadorship position in the first place.