Every mainstream news outlet I am reading reports damning testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland in the impeachment inquiry. Even an AP story with the headline, “Key witness says President Trump sought quid pro quo with Ukraine,” appeared on The Californian's website.

I’d like to share a couple quotes with my fellow Californian readers because I respect the truth more than I contemn Trump.

From the AP story: “Ambassador Gordon Sondland declared to impeachment investigators Wednesday that President Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani explicitly solicited a ‘quid pro quo’ with Ukraine….”

Sounds “damning.” But read on, lovers of truth. Rep. Michael Turner and Ambassador Sondland had this exchange in the hearing:

Turner: “Not just the President, Giuliani didn’t tell you, Mulvaney didn’t tell you. Nobody. Pompeo didn’t tell you. ... No one on this planet told you that President Trump was tying aid to investigations, yes or no?"

Sondland: “Yes.”

Turner: “So you really have no testimony today that ties President Trump to a scheme to withhold aid from Ukraine in exchange for these investigations.”

Sondland: “Other than my own presumption.”

Sondland may have “declared it,” but it was just his imagination. We can’t afford the time to watch and analyze the dog and pony show going on in Washington.

Ric Llewellyn, Bakersfield