To the editor: President Trump’s ally Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, can now be added to the list of witnesses now confirming that military aid was being held back from Ukraine pending a public announcement that the country’s government was conducting the investigations involving the Bidens that the president wanted.
And, the reaction to this from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) gives us a good idea of how Senate Republicans will brush this off.
Originally a Trump skeptic, Graham has become a sycophant who defends the president’s every move. When there was only implied evidence of a quid pro quo, Graham said that if there was direct evidence, he would find it very troubling
But after Sondland’s bombshell, Graham simply said he’s written off the whole impeachment process. He will be a juror in the Senate and he has prejudged the case before hearing all the evidence.
Alan Abajian, Alta Loma
To the editor: In his amended testimony, Sondland states, “I did not know (and still do not know) when, why, or by whom the aid was suspended.... I presumed that the aid suspension had become linked to the proposed anti-corruption statement.”
The key word is “presumed.” Sondland’s testimony does not change the facts.
The president wanted an anti-corruption review of Ukraine before releasing aid. The money flowed with no conditions, presumed or otherwise, being met. There was no quid pro quo from the president, nor was there a threat.
In contrast, when Russia attacked Crimea and was arming separatists in Ukraine in 2014, President Obama refused to provide lethal aid to Kyiv.
Nathan Post, Santa Barbara
To the editor: Since very few people understand Latin, I suggest we stop using “quid pro quo” to describe the president’s action with Ukraine.
When you call it what it is, bribery and extortion, there is no question that he has abused his power and committed impeachable offenses.
Caroline Kerr Taylor, Newport Beach
To the editor: With all the discussion regarding Ukraine, there is a question that is never asked: Why does a country that is $23 trillion in debt hand out military aid like it is Halloween candy?
Gregg Scott, Los Angeles