Seth Abramson @SethAbramson @Newsweek columnist. Analyses @BBC. NYT bestselling author of Proof of Conspiracy (bit.ly/2kP6FkZ). Next: Citizen Journalist (Macmillan). Professor. Attorney. Oct. 04, 2019 1 min read

The consciousness of guilt of US ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland is jawdropping. On two occasions US ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor accuses Trump of a quid pro quo; the first time Sondland says "call me" to avoid creating a record; then, "stop the back and forth by text."

1/ Sondland then tries to "launder" the text record by making one of his texts (in response to the quid pro quo accusation) a formal and elaborate statement of Trump's innocence; it reads like a press release. This is the moment Sondland realizes his texts are criminal evidence.

2/ Sondland is a hotelier, like Trump, and is a Trump donor. Whatever his relation to Trump, his texts reveal a man who just realized he's being implicated in a *criminal conspiracy* and is flailing about to protect himself from culpability. Doing so requires him to defend Trump.

3/ The reason Sondland's press-release text comes to Taylor after a 5-hour delay is he had to check in with the White House on Taylor's allegation; during that call Sondland and Team Trump must've discussed (whenever they first realized it) that they were in the midst of a crime.

4/ There's a "Keystone cops" quality to all of this... that is, if the Keystone cops were in fact major criminals and what they were doing was not chasing lawbreakers but rampantly committing felonies across the globe that they then had to scurry frantically to cover up and deny.


You can follow @SethAbramson.



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