David Holmes, a top diplomat in Ukraine, testified that Jay Leno was among the guests at a June 4 dinner that Ambassador Gordon Sondland hosted for the new president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky. Other guests were Jared Kushner, a State Department official and European Union officials.
Holmes’ point was that at the time, even though a dinner was arranged, Zelensky’s team had yet to receive a confirmed date for a meeting with President Donald Trump. On Wednesday, Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, testified that that meeting was held out as a “quid pro quo,” in which Zelensky first had to announce investigations of Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden was a board member, and of the 2016 election.
Later in his testimony, Holmes recounted a lunch he had with Sondland on July 26. At that time, Sondland called Trump, and Holmes said he could hear the president’s voice through the earpiece.
The significance of the call is what Holmes said he heard Trump and Sondland say about Zelensky conducting an investigation. But Holmes said he also heard them talk about another issue – the jailing of rapper A$AP Rocky in Sweden.
“I could only hear Ambassador Sondland’s side of that part of the conversation,” Holmes said. “Ambassador Sondland told the president that the rapper was ‘kind of f*cked there,’ and ‘should have pled guilty.’ He recommended that the president ‘wait until after the sentencing or it will make it worse,’ adding that the president should ‘let him get sentenced, play the racism card, give him a ticker-tape when he comes home.'”
Holmes said that Sondland also told Trump that Sweden “should have released him on your word,” but that “you can tell the Kardashians you tried.”
Kim Kardashian had lobbied Trump for help in obtaining A$AP Rocky’s release. After his conviction for assault, he received a suspended sentence and fine and was released.