Tonight, Axios has a great big bloody scoop. In case you don’t immediately grasp that their news is a great big bloody scoop, they put the word “scoop” right in the headline: Scoop: EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland to testify next week.
Mr. Sondland is a hotel magnate and a big Trump donor who has fully earned his footnote to history by writing a cover-your-ass-in-cast-iron email—the very mother and father of all CYA memos—by explaining how it’s “crystal clear” there’s no military aid for Biden dirt quid pro quo.
There are four possibilities. One is that Axios’s scoop is bogus and he won’t show after all. A second is that Axios’s scoop is right, but he’ll change his mind before next week, and won’t show after all. The third is that he will show up, rend his garments, cover his head with ashes, and throw Trump to the wolves.
But the fourth is the most likely, in my view: he will show up and try to weasel his way out of his email trail and the testimony given by others knowledgeable about his misdeeds.
Folks, I have seen this movie before. It’s an occupational hazard of business magnates to think they can lie and weasel their way out of embarrassing or illegal situations.
It sometimes works, but mostly on days when there’s a snowstorm down in Hell.
On other days, it doesn’t work, and they’re damn lucky if they don’t get nailed for perjury.
That said, if the Axios scoop turns out to be accurate, and if my prediction turns out to be accurate, this development does show that someone with a nodding acquaintance with legal advocacy has exercised some input into the Trump defense.
Why? Because if the plaintiff or prosecutor has the actual goods on you, you aren’t going to win your case by pure bluster and stonewalling.
You’re going to have shove some hapless schmuck into the witness stand to try to explain it away.