Speed Reads

Trump impeachment hearings

Diplomat David Holmes recounts Sondland's 'loud and recognizable' call where Trump brought up Biden investigations

David Holmes doesn't seem to be one for impressions.

Still, the U.S. political affairs counselor to Ukraine had an extensive recollection of a phone call between President Trump and U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland he heard from Sondland's end earlier this year. And in it, he said he heard Trump's "loud and recognizable" voice repeatedly inquire about a potential Ukrainian investigation into the Bidens.

Similarly to what he said behind closed doors, Holmes said in Thursday's public impeachment hearings that while he was eating with Sondland and two other officials in Ukraine, Sondland gave Trump a call. Trump's voice was "loud and recognizable," and Sondland "held the phone away from his ear" at time because of this, letting Holmes hear what was happening. Sondland started the call by telling Trump that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "loves your ass," and Trump responded by saying "so he's going to do the investigation."

After the call, Holmes asked Sondland what just happened, to which Sondland said Trump "does not give an 'expletive' about Ukraine," Holmes testified. He only cares about the "big stuff ... like the Biden investigation," Holmes recalled Sondland saying, spelling out what he heard about Trump's priorities overseas.