A key witness at Thursday’s impeachment hearing testified that in the same phone call where President Trump pushed a Ukrainian investigation of the Bidens, a wealthy ambassador advised him to play the ‘racism card’ and update Kim Kardashian on his efforts to help spring jailed rapper A$AP Rocky.
Diplomatic lawyer David Holmes provided his first public testimony about a July 26th phone call where he says he overheard Trump giving loud instructions to U.S. ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland, who was dining with Holmes and other officials at a restaurant in Kiev at the time.
But it wasn’t just a pressure campaign – which a top official likened to a ‘drug deal’ – that was on the menu. Sondland, a West Coast hotelier and major Trump inaugural donor, updated Trump on the status of A$AP Rocky, who had been jailed in Sweeden after a Stockholm street fight.
After talk about Ukrainian President Zelensky, who Sondland told the president ‘loves your ass,’ matters switched to the rapper.
‘The conversation then shifted to Ambassador Sondland’s efforts, on behalf of the President, to assist a rapper who was jailed in Sweden, and I could only hear Ambassador Sondland’s side of that part of the conversation,’ Holmes told lawmakers in a hushed room while the cameras rolled.
‘Ambassador Sondland told the President that the rapper was ‘kind of f—-d there,’ and ‘should have pled guilty,’ he said – referring to a case that would land the rapper in jail for a month until his conviction and ultimate release.
Sondland ‘recommended that the President ‘wait until after the sentencing or it will make it worse,’ adding that the President should ‘let him get sentenced, play the racism card, give him a ticker-tape when he comes home,’ according to Holmes.
‘Ambassador Sondland further told the President that Sweden ‘should have released him on your word,’ but that ‘you can tell the Kardashians you tried.”
Holmes, who attended prestigious schools and had diplomatic postings in Moscow and New Delhi, spoke with extensive recall about the meeting with Sondland, describing sharing an appetizer with Sondland and a bottle of wine for the table – even describing a table-runner that covered two adjoining surfaces for the meal.
‘It was quite loud when the president came on,’ he said, calling Trump’s voice ‘quite distinctive.’
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SOURCE: Daily Mail – Geoff Earle