GOP, Dem reps both wary of upcoming Sondland testimony

U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, who met with President Trump several times regarding Ukraine, is scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee this week as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry, but congressmen from both parties Sunday were hesitant to put much stock in what he will say.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., the No. 2 Democrat on the committee, hyped up this coming week’s hearings for featuring testimony from people with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s thinking, but hesitated when asked if Sondland in particular is actually credible.

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“Well, that’s a good question,” Himes told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, acknowledging that Sondland has already amended testimony he provided during a closed-door stage of the inquiry. “I’m not going to try to prejudge his testimony.”

Himes then guessed that Sondland will be truthful, but put this in the context of the legal ramifications faced by former Trump associates Roger Stone and Michael Cohen, who were both convicted of lying to Congress.

Earlier in the program, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was equally hesitant to get behind Sondland.

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When asked if he would accuse Sondland of lying if the ambassador says Trump told him to condition military aid to Ukraine on investigating the former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Scalise dismissed the notion as “hypothetical,” and referred back to moments from previous hearings that were beneficial to Trump.

When asked later on if he was “willing to abide” by whatever Sondland says, Scalise simply responded, “I abide by what the president did and what President Zelensky actually received.” Scalise’s main defense of the president was that delaying the delivery of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was legal, as the appropriations law required the president “to ensure that they’re rooting out corruption,” and that the aid was ultimately delivered.