Audience Breaks Into Applause As Maloney Wrenches Trump Answer From Sondland

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) questions Ambassador Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a former official at the National Security Council, as they te... WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) questions Ambassador Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, and Tim Morrison, a former official at the National Security Council, as they testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill November 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony during the third day of open hearings in the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, whom House Democrats say held back U.S. military aid for Ukraine while demanding it investigate his political rivals. (Photo by Jacquelyn Martin - Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 20, 2019 4:10 p.m.

After a prolonged bout of questioning, Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) finally pinned down the squirmy Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, successfully pushing him to admit that a sham investigation into the Bidens would politically benefit President Donald Trump.

 The two went many rounds as Sondland tried to slip out of answering the question directly, saying that he didn’t want to respond to hypotheticals or splitting hairs about whether or not the President explicitly said that the investigations involved the Bidens.

“It’s a pretty simple question, isn’t it?” Maloney asked with palpable exasperation.

Sondland cut in to say that he assumed when Trump spoke about investigations, he was talking about the Bidens. Maloney interrupted right back: “I know what you assumed. Who would benefit from an investigation into the Bidens?”

Sondland tried to duck again, but Maloney persisted with the same question.

“I assume President Trump would benefit,” Sondland finally said.

“There we have it!” Maloney proclaimed triumphantly as the hearing room broke into applause. “Didn’t hurt a bit.”

Sondland protested, saying that he’d been very “forthright” and that he “resents” Maloney’s implication.

“Fair enough,” Maloney shot back. “You’ve been very forthright and this is your third try to do so, sir. Didn’t work so well the first time, did it? We had a little declaration come in after, remember that? Now this is our third time and we got a doozy of a statement from you this morning — there’s a bunch of stuff you don’t recall.

“So with all do respect sir, we appreciate your candor, but let’s be really clear about what it took to get it out of you,” Maloney concluded, holding Sondland’s gaze in the now dead-quiet hearing room.

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