Graham Accuses Sondland Of Conspiring With Dems To Go After Trump

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, (R-SC)., speaks at a news conference proposing legislation to address the crisis at the southern border at the U.S. Capitol on May 15, 2019 in Washin... WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, (R-SC)., speaks at a news conference proposing legislation to address the crisis at the southern border at the U.S. Capitol on May 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans met with Vice President Mike Pence and White House Advisor Jared Kushner yesterday to discuss President Donald Trump's plan to overhaul the immigration system. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has a new theory for why EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland revised his impeachment testimony.

During an interview on Fox News Wednesday night, Graham accused Sondland of conspiring with “Democratic operatives” and House Intel Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA), which Graham suggested led Sondland to revise his impeachment testimony.

Graham particularly took aim at the section in Sondland’s revised testimony where he stated that he now recalls telling Ukrainian officials that U.S. military aid was contingent upon making a “public anti-corruption statement” related to an investigation into the gas company where former Vice President Joe Biden’s son sat on the board of and the origins of the Russia probe.

“Not one person has talked to President Trump about whether or not he wanted a quid pro quo,” Graham said. “[State Department diplomat Bill] Taylor is saying he assumed there was a quid pro quo based on what Sondland told him, the EU ambassador. He said previously there was not, now his memory has been refreshed.”

When Fox News host Martha MacCallum asked the notorious Trump defender about Schiff saying that the release of testimony transcripts prove that the “most important facts are largely not contested,” Graham said “that statement is full of crap” before stoking a conspiracy accusing Sondland of switching up his testimony because of a “connection” with Democratic operatives.

“Why did Sondland change his testimony?” Graham said. “Was there a connection between Sondland and Democratic operatives on the committee? Did he talk to Schiff? Did he talk to Schiff’s staffers?”

Graham then pointed out that he’s “been a lawyer for a very long time” as he continued his rant against Sondland’s testimony.

“When someone remembers something they didn’t know before it makes me incredibly suspicious,” Graham said. “Why did Sondland change his mind? What prompted him to change his mind about maybe there was a quid pro quo when I said there wasn’t?”

Watch Graham’s remarks below:

Earlier this week, Graham unleashed his latest talking point that the Trump administration’s approach to policy in Ukraine is “incoherent” and officials are “incapable of forming a quid pro quo.” Graham also told reporters that he doesn’t plan on reading the deposition transcripts of the impeachment inquiry because he thinks “this is a bunch of B.S.”

Graham isn’t the only Republican on Capitol Hill going after Sondland. On Wednesday morning, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) dismissed the EU ambassador’s revised testimony as his “opinion.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: