Sondland faces backlash from Portlanders

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Sondland may have to navigate back to private sector work in Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Sondland’s testimony is being closely watched in Portland as the hotel owner has become a key witness in the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry.

Sondland is under intense pressure not only in Washington D.C. but at home, where Portlanders have been protesting outside his hotels. They want Sondland to tell the truth.

Ben Gaskins, an associate professor of political science at Lewis and Clark said Sondland’s testimony was hugely helpful for Democrats in finally acknowledging a “quid pro quo” in the administration’s talks with Ukraine.

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. Attorney Robert Luskin is left. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

While Sondland said he’s followed the president’s orders, he attributed much of the direction to Trump’s attorney, Rudy Guiliani — an important separation the Republicans capitalized on.

“So the one thing that Sondland’s testimony did not do,” Gaskins said. “That he says is pretty obvious.”

Gaskins believes Sondland’s European Union ambassadorship will likely be tied to this administration, so his next challenge will be navigating back into the private sector in liberal Portland with his local hotels.

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley spoke to KOIN 6 News Wednesday morning and said the testimony is critical in the impeachment inquiry and reveals Trump’s guilt. He didn’t comment on the protests outside Sondland’s Oregon hotels.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s proposed boycott of Sondland’s hotels, however, was mentioned in the hearing. In response, the Blumenauer released the following statement:

“When Gordon Sondland refused to fulfill his duty as an American citizen to comply with a legally issued subpoena and testify in front of Congress, I called him out. I’m glad that he testified. It appears that the third time is the charm, and he seems to have finally correctly recalled his knowledge of Trump’s abuse of his powers. I also hope others who know of or have been part of Donald Trump‘s impeachable offenses come forward and tell the American people the truth.”

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden weighed in on Sondland’s performance, as well.

“I have known Mr. Sondland for a number of years and I’ve appreciated his work supporting local charities,” he said in a written statement. “Although we have disagreed about several issues, including his strong support for Donald Trump, I am glad that he has chosen to give a full accounting of the president’s scheme in Ukraine to impeachment investigators.”

Representative Suzanne Bonamici also chimed in on the hearings, tweeting Wednesday that she will do all she can to hold the president accountable for what Sondland’s testimony reveals.

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