Amash wonders if there’s a ‘mercy rule’ for hearings amid Sondland testimony

    Gordon Sondland, the U.S ambassador to the European Union, testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. The committee heard testimony during the fourth day of open hearings in the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump, whom House Democrats say held back U.S. military aid for Ukraine while demanding it investigate his political rivals. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, on Wednesday delivered a blow to Republicans’ defense of President Trump in U.S. House impeachment hearings.

    Trump allegedly leveraged U.S. military aid for Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. In his testimony, Sondland said, “Was there a quid pro quo? The answer is yes.”

    U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Cascade Twp.), who left the GOP over his support for an impeachment inquiry, was among those who said Sondland’s testimony damaged the president and his allies.

    Later on Wednesday morning, Amash indicated on Twitter he didn’t think the hearing was going any better for Trump defenders.

    Trump left the White House in the morning for Texas and didn’t take any questions. He appeared to be reading off a notepad covered in all-caps writing with a black Sharpie. Trump cited Sondland’s closed-door testimony, in which he said there wasn’t a quid pro quo.

    “That means it’s all over,” Trump said.

    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.