After Friday’s second, public impeachment inquiry, law makers met behind closed doors with David Holmes, the state department aide who overheard Trump’s conversation with Gordon Sondland at a restaurant in Kiev.
The New York Times reported that Holmes testified privately and stated “that he was at a restaurant in Ukraine’s capital when he heard Mr. Trump during a cellphone call loudly asking Gordon D. Sondland about the investigations.” He stated that Soland told Trump that the Ukrainian president “loved his ass” (referring to Trump’s) and was all in on investigating Joe and Hunter Biden and “anything you ask him to.”
“After the call ended, Mr. Holmes asked it if was true that the president did not care about Ukraine, the people said. The ambassador replied that Mr. Trump cared only about the “big stuff,” like investigations that his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was pushing for, because they affected him personally.“
“On Thursday, two people familiar with the matter said that a second embassy official, Suriya Jayanti, also overheard the call and could corroborate Mr. Holmes’s account. It is unclear if investigators will also call her to testify. On Friday, Mr. Holmes indicated there was a third person present who would have overheard it, as well.“
Notable nuggets to come out of Holmes’ testimony in a nutshell:
- Sondland placed the call to Trump.
- Trump spoke loudly; Sondland’s phone was not on speakerphone; Trump’s voice came though very clear from Soland’s phone; Holmes recognized the voice as Trump’s.
- Holmes did not take notes.
- Holmes confirmed Taylor’s testimony. Holmes asked: “if it was true that the Presisdent did not ‘give a shit about Ukraine.”
- Holmes said Sondland responded Trump only cares about “big stuff.” When Holmes said that the Ukraine war was big, Sondland responded “‘big stuff’ that benefits the President, like the Biden investigation that Mr. Giuliani was pushing,” Holmes said