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Gordon Sondland Is the Most Intriguing Sucker in the Middle of This Whole Mess

Charles P. Pierce

From Esquire

I’d say CNN’s sources make a pretty good guess here.

"If true, the cell phone call between Ambassador Sondland and President Trump is an egregious violation of traditional counterintelligence practices that all national security officials—to include political appointee ambassadors such as Sondland—are repeatedly made aware of,” according to Marc Polymeropoulos, a former CIA officer who oversaw operations in Europe and Russia before retiring this summer. "I cannot remember in my career any time where an ambassador in a high counterintelligence environment like Kiev would have such an unsecure conversation with a sitting president. This just should not happen," he said.

By a considerable margin, Sondland is the most intriguing sucker in the middle of this mess. He gives a million bucks to the Inaugural Committee—and where is all that dough, by the way?—and he gets the job of ambassador to the EU which, considering the president* ran a campaign premised on the belief that the EU and other scurvy foreigners are picking our pockets, didn’t look to be a heavy-lifting kind of a job. It pretty much entailed familiarizing yourself with the bathroom facilities in several foreign capitals. Then, one day, out of the blue, the president* asks you to get with the new president of Ukraine—which is not in the EU but what do you care?—and explain that some defense money and a state visit both depend on the Ukrainian president’s announcing that his people are investigating Joe and Hunter Biden. Next thing you know, you’re spouting the party line in front of a congressional committee, only to have everybody and his brother show up later to contradict you. Next thing you know, you’re revising your previous testimony and planning your appearance on live TV next week in front of that same congressional committee. That’s a rich, full few months.

Photo credit: Mark Wilson - Getty Images

Of course, the Russians picked up Sondland’s cellphone chat with the president*. So did at least two people with whom he was dining. Very likely, every foreign intelligence agency on the planet knows what Sondland thought of the herring in that restaurant. The bartenders are probably making book on whether or not Sondland ever works again, and the uncles, aunts, and grandparents of the waitstaff probably know more about any possible extortion than we do. Can’t anybody here commit a crime?

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