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Here’s the Exchange You Need to See From Today’s Impeachment Hearing

U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) questions U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland during a House Intelligence Committee hearing

If there’s one clip from today’s impeachment hearing featuring EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland that you watch today, well, honestly it should be this one with Rep. Sean Maloney:

But if you have time for two, you need to watch the exchange between Sondland and Rep. Sean Maloney. Sondland showed up today fully ready to throw every single person he’s ever met in Washington under the Congressional bus. And while Republicans focused on calling out inconsistencies in his testimony, Democrats were largely happy to capitalize on his apparent unwillingness to go to prison for Donald Trump.

Sondland appeared totally affable in front of Congress, smiling and joking and giving the impression of full cooperation. But when Maloney pushed him to answer specific questions instead of dodge them, first we got this weird attempt at an eye-roll before Maloney made it clear he wasn’t kidding around:

That eye-roll came when Maloney got Sondland to state unequivocally that the person who would benefit from an investigation into the Bidens is Trump himself.

Maloney then dragged Sondland for his declaration that he’s been “forthright” by reminding him that it’s his “third try to do so” after he had to dramatically amend his original closed-door testimony.

Maloney then asks Sondland what kind of position this sort of pressure from the U.S. government would put Ukraine’s government in, to which Sondland answers “a terrible position.” That pressure, he says, would “jeopardize their security.”

It is telling that he didn’t want to answer these direct questions and instead tried to dodge them and then to frame them as hypotheticals. Luckily, Maloney was having none of it.

Watch the exchange here:

(image: Yara Nardi-Pool/Getty Images)
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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.