NowThis News’ impeachment coverage omitted key facts about diplomats’ testimony on Capitol Hill, leaving false anti-Trump impressions for its readers.
“Trump and many in the GOP have called the inquiry a ‘sham’ despite the testimony of multiple career diplomats that Trump offered a quid pro quo to the president of Ukraine to investigate unfounded claims against Biden,” wrote NowThis’ Christina Cocca.
Cocca failed to mention that House Democrats based their calls for impeachment on assumptions, presumptions, and speculation from witnesses who had no interaction with the President. None of the diplomatic witnesses during the impeachment hearings had any firsthand knowledge or evidence of wrongdoing by the President.
Most of their witnesses never spoke with Trump or weren’t even involved in the events at hand. Only two people actually asked the president about this – Ambassador Gordon Sondland and Sen. Ron Johnson, and the President told both of them he was not seeking any quid pro quo.
In fact, during his congressional testimony, Sondland made clear that the only direction Trump ever gave him was that he wanted “No quid pro quo.”
As Sondland testified, contrary to NowThis News’ claim, Trump repeatedly established that there was to be no quid pro quo whatsoever. Sondland confirmed repeatedly during his testimony that no one ever told that him that the hold on security assistance was tied to anything and that he presumed it was.
“No one told me directly that the aid was tied to anything. I was presuming it was,” Sondland said.
Moreover, Sondland never even talked to the president about security assistance.
“I don’t recall President Trump ever talking to me about any security assistance ever,” Sondland said.
Sondland agreed that there was nothing “sinister or nefarious” in any of his interactions with the president and that nothing illegal was discussed. He testified that Trump never told him about any preconditions for a White House meeting with the new Ukrainian leader.