Jordan to Sondland on Quid Pro Quo: ‘It’s Not 2 Plus 2 – It’s 0 for 3’

Melanie Arter | November 20, 2019 | 2:55pm EST
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( – Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) called out U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland on Wednesday for failing to include in his opening statement the fact that President Donald Trump told the ambassador that he wanted “nothing” from the president of Ukraine, that he wanted “no quid pro quo,” and he only wanted the Ukrainian president to do what he ran on, which is to rout out corruption.

During Wednesday’s House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearing, Jordan began by questioning Sondland on when the president of Ukraine released a public statement announcing he would investigate Burisma and the 2016 election. 

Sondland appeared confused at first at Jordan’s initial line of questioning, until the congressman explained that he was referring to what Zelensky was allegedly required to do to get security assistance. 

Jordan then read Sondland’s own testimony to the committee, in which the ambassador said he asked Trump what he wants from the president of Ukraine. Sondland testified that Trump responded, saying, “‘I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. I want Zelensky to do the right thing. I want him to do what he ran on.’”

JORDAN: Ambassador, when did it happen? 

SONDLAND: When what happened? 

JORDAN: When did President Zelensky announce that the investigation was going to happen. Today your opening statement. As I've testified previously with regards to a requested White House call, White House meeting, answer is yes, that there needed to be a public statement from President Zelensky. When the chairman asked you about the security assistance dollars, you said there needed to be a public announcement from Mr. Zelensky. So I’m asking you a simple question, when did that happen? 

SONDLAND: Never did. 

JORDAN: It never did. They got the call July 25. They got the meeting – not in the White House – but in New York on September 25th. They got the money on September 11. When did the meeting happen again? 

It never happened. Who was in it? Do you know how Zelensky announced it? Did he tweet it? Did he do a press statement? Did he do a press conference? Do you know how that happened? You got all three of them wrong. They get the call, they get the meeting, they get the money. It's not two plus two. It's 0 for 3. I've never seen anything like this, and you told Mr. Castor that the president never told you that the announcement had to happen to get anything. In fact, he didn't just not tell you that. He exquisitely said the opposite. The gentleman from Texas just read it. 

‘You said to the president of the United States, what do you want from Ukraine? The president: I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. I want Zelensky to do the right thing. I want him to do what he ran on. What did he run on, Ambassador Sondland? 

SONDLAND: Transparency. 

JORDAN: And dealing with corruption, right? 

SONDLAND: That’s correct. 

JORDAN: Mr. Castor raised another important point. Why didn't you put that statement in your opening statement? I think you said you couldn't fit it in. Is that right? Said you might be here for 46 minutes instead of 45 minutes. 

SONDLAND: Wasn't purposeful. 

JORDAN: You couldn't fit it in a 23-page opener. The most important statement about the subject matter at hand. The president of the United States in a direct conversation with you about the issue at hand, and the president said—let me read it one more time. ‘What you want from Ukraine, Mr. President? I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. I want this new guy’ brand-new guy in politics, his party just took over. ‘I want Zelensky to do the right thing. I want him to run on and do what he ran on which is to deal with corruption.’

And you can find time to fit that in the 23-page opening statement. You know what a quid pro quo is? 


JORDAN: This for that, right? Looks to me like Ukraine got that three times, and there was no this. We didn't do anything. Excuse me, they didn't have to do anything. I've never seen anything like this, and this is--. When the call came out, you all remember when the call came out, everyone said we are going to -- quid pro quo. That was in the call, and of course, of course that didn't happen, that didn't happen. Remember with the complaint said? Remember what the memo said of the whistle-blower. This call was frightening. This call was scary, all those things. None of them materialized. None of that materialized. I yield back. 


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