‘He’s Gonna Do It:’ Diplomat Describes Trump-Sondland Call Discussing Ukraine Probes

US Ambassador Gordon Sondland to the European Union arrives at the US Capitol October 17, 2019.(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

A U.S. diplomat described to House investigators a July 26 phone call between Ambassador Gordon Sondland and President Trump during which Trump brought up the Ukrainian president doing the “investigation,” CNN reported Friday.

“‘So, he’s gonna do the investigation?” Trump allegedly asked Sondland, according to the account of the call in David Holmes’ opening statement, which was obtained by CNN.

According to the testimony, Trump was referring to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom Trump spoke to on the phone the day before.

“He’s gonna do it,” Sondland said, according to Holmes’ account.  Sondland also told Trump that Zelensky “loved your ass” and would do “anything you ask him to,” according to the Holmes testimony obtained by CNN.

Holmes was serving in the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, where Sondland was traveling the day of his July 26 call with Trump. The top U.S. diplomat in Kyiv, Bill Taylor, first brought the episode to light in a public impeachment hearing Wednesday. Taylor said he was told about the call after he had given his private deposition in the inquiry.

Holmes testified that he asked Sondland, after he finished the call with Trump, about Trump’s views on Ukraine. Sondland said that Trump only cared about the “big stuff,” prompting Holmes to note that “big stuff” like a war with Russia was happening in Ukraine, according to his testimony. Sondland, according to Holmes’ account, said that he meant the “big stuff” that benefits Trump, such as the “Biden investigation.”

Holmes testified he referred to the call — as well as Trump’s apparent lack of interest in Ukraine — in meetings with his colleagues.

An official working on the impeachment inquiry said Friday evening that the House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena for Holmes testimony in “light of an attempt by the State Department to direct David Holmes not to appear for his scheduled deposition.”

Sondland is scheduled to testify publicly on Wednesday.

Read the full Holmes opening statement here.

Latest News

Notable Replies

  1. Sondland also told Trump that Zelensky “loved your ass” and would do “anything you ask him to,” according to the Holmes testimony obtained by CNN.

    I’m always impressed by the sober language of our “donor/businessman hybrid” ambassadors.

  2. So this was about Russian adoptions?

  3. Hmm, this might be problematic for Mr. Trump. Or so I hope.

  4. Is it unseemly for me to be enjoying this so much? I mean, everywhere you look, another GOP Coc–I mean Republican, is embarrassing him or herself in public; so much so it is difficult to peg who was the most enraged or fake-enraged today, Jordan, Conway, Nunes, Conaway or Stefanik

  5. “Sondland is scheduled to testify publicly on Wednesday.”

    Has “Epstein” become a verb yet?

    (Asking for a linguist.)

Continue the discussion at forums.talkingpointsmemo.com

245 more replies


Avatar for ajm Avatar for playitagainrowlf Avatar for austin_dave Avatar for srfromgr Avatar for mondfledermaus Avatar for squirreltown Avatar for carlosfiance Avatar for ralph_vonholst Avatar for esva Avatar for misterneutron Avatar for kimaanderson Avatar for lcbo Avatar for bankerpup Avatar for castor_troy Avatar for spin Avatar for rhs1963 Avatar for kelaine Avatar for maximus Avatar for drtv Avatar for timorwig Avatar for atldrew Avatar for rascal_crone Avatar for rucleare Avatar for Maggsvw99

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