CNN obtained a copy of David Holmes’ opening statement delivered during his closed door deposition in Congress. Holmes is the aide that Ambassador Bill Taylor referenced during his testimony on Wednesday as a firsthand source for a telephone conversation between Donald Trump and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland which directly links the president to the pressure campaign that was conducted in Ukraine.David Holmes describes a phone call he and at least two other witnesses overheard on July 26 at a restaurant in Kiev – just one day after the now infamous phone call between Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky. Here is what passed between Sondland and Trump, according to Holmes’ opening statement:
“I heard President Trump then clarify that Ambassador Sondland was in Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland replied, yes, he was in Ukraine, and went on to state that President Zelensky ‘loves your ass.’ I then heard President Trump ask, ‘So he’s gonna do the investigation?’ Ambassador Sondland replied that ‘he’s gonna do it,’ adding that President Zelensky will do ‘anything you ask him to.’”
The exchange was later discussed among those present and David Holmes remembers questioning Gordon Sondland about the President’s interests and priorities in Ukraine. The EU Ambassador unequivocally stated that Donald Trump didn’t really care about the war with Russia, just about “big stuff”. According to Holmes’ testimony, when Sondland said “big stuff” he meant “’big stuff’ that benefits the President, like the ‘Biden investigation that Mr. Giuliani was pushing.