As with any Trump scandal, the sheer number of names and variables involved in the president’s campaign of influence in Ukraine doesn’t exactly cater to simplicity. To help keep track of who thinks it’s okay for Trump to demand personal favors from foreign leaders and who’s already copped to the quid pro quo in Ukraine, Intelligencer is providing a daily rundown of the Trump impeachment hearings’ most important characters. Week two quickens the pace of the proceedings, with four witnesses testifying on Tuesday, three on Wednesday, and two on Thursday.
A high-ranking staffer at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Holmes overheard a July 26 call from E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland to President Trump the day after Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy to investigate the Bidens.
Who Is He According to Team Trump
The guy who overheard Trump’s phone call to Gordon Sondland in a restaurant because the president talks very loud. In private testimony, Holmes said that in July he heard Trump ask if Zelenksy is “going to do the investigations?” Sondland said yes, and that Zelensky would “do anything you ask him to.”
“This was an extremely distinctive experience in my foreign-service career,” Holmes told the House impeachment inquiry. “I’ve never seen anything like this, someone calling the President from a mobile phone at a restaurant, and then having a conversation of this level of candor, colorful language. There’s just so much about the call that was so remarkable that I remember it vividly.”
His Bombshell Revelation
Aside from the revelation that the president who frequently holds press conferences in front of idling helicopters speaks at a great volume, Holmes’s testimony will likely portray Gordon Sondland in a less heroic light than the E.U. ambassador cast himself on Wednesday — not unlike the expected testimony of Fiona Hill.
Holmes testified that Sondland spoke as if he were acting on direct behalf of the president: “He would say things in meetings like, ‘I know the president would agree with what you just said,’ or ‘I heard the president say something like …’ I mean, he would portray himself as having knowledge, direct knowledge of the president’s priorities and interests.” In his deposition, Holmes also claimed that Sondland said that Trump “doesn’t give a shit about Ukraine … [only] big stuff that matters to him, like this Biden investigation that Giuliani is pushing.”