Sondland, returning from D.C., greeted by protesters at PDX

Politics

Portland hotelier, ambassador has offered mixed testimony to Congress over President Trump's quid pro quo with Ukraine

Portland hotelier turned Trump-appointed diplomat Gordon Sondland was surprised to be greeted by protesters at Portland International Airport Tuesday night after returning from Washington, D.C., where he’d amended his testimony to Congressional impeachment investigators. (Jonathan House/Portland Tribune)

PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Fresh from amending his testimony to Congress regarding the potential impeachment of President Donald Trump, Portland hotelier and ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland returned to Portland on Tuesday night only to find himself greeted by protesters calling for impeachment and for Sondland to tell the full truth.

“Hey Gordon Sondland, tell the truth,” chanted a group of about 15 protesters. “Hey Gordon Sondland, we’re watching you.”

Ambassador Sondland got an unexpected welcome back to PDX last night as we came out to tell him that we expect him to think hard about if there’s anything else he remembers and tell the FULL TRUTH to Congress and the American people.

Posted by Stand On Every Corner PDX on Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Sondland has played a starring role in the impeachment; inquiry, becoming the first witness to confirm that President Donald Trump had essentially put his personal attorney and political operative, Rudy Giuliani, in charge of America’s foreign policy regarding Ukraine. Giuliani for months had been publicly pushing the Ukrainian government to open a corruption investigation of a Ukrainian company that had employed the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Then, on Monday, Nov. 4, Sondland changed his prior testimony to Congress significantly, admitting that he personally had delivered a demand echoing Giuliani’s wishes to Ukrainian leaders.

Saying his memory had been refreshed by others’ testimony, Sondland in his new statement recalled telling Ukrainian leaders that military assistance already authorized by Congress would “likely” be held up until the new Ukrainian president publicly vowed to open a corruption investigation into the Biden connection. He said, however, that the quid pro quo demand he delivered to Ukraine was a “presumption” he had arrived at on his own.

Sondland, who reportedly flew into Portland on Alaska flight 771, was wearing a baseball cap as if to keep a low profile. He smiled and declined to comment when approached by several reporters, then waited at baggage claim while protesters repeatedly urged him to uphold his oath to defend the U.S. Constitution.

The protest was organized hastily by Stand on Every Corner PDX, a local coalition of national groups calling for the impeachment of Trump. Organizer Kate Sharaf had put out a call on Twitter for people to meet at the airport, along with a photo of signs she’d crafted for the occasion.

“Hey Sondland, anything else you remember?” said one of the signs.

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