Sexual harassment charges against Gordon Sondland look like Kavanaugh-esque smear
Ambassador to the EU and recent House "impeachment inquiry" witness Gordon Sondland vehemently denies allegations of sexual harassment made by three women, concerning behavior before he entered public life, and has announced that he is not resigning.
The allegations carry a strong odor similar to the smell that came from Christine Blasey -Ford and other women who attempted to derail the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Ashe Schow, writing in The Daily Wire, connects the dots:
YouTube screen grab (cropped).
The media are once against using sexual misconduct claims to tarnish the reputation of a man connected to the Trump administration.
Just as they did with Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the media now report that three women have accused Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, of sexual misconduct. Their allegations relate to encounters with Sondland more than a decade ago, yet they are just now making their claims, as Sondland's name is in the news as part of the Democrats' impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump.
Exactly as was the case with the Kavanaugh allegations. As Schow notes:
Sondland had previously undergone a public confirmation hearing to become an ambassador, yet none of these allegations surfaced at that time. It is only now, when Sondland is involved in the impeachment hearings, that these women have come forward — and each have an ulterior motive for doing so. (snip)
In a letter from Sondland's attorney, Jim McDermott, the ambassador denied the allegations and explained that each woman had a motive to malign Sondland. "Notably, what each of these three women share in common is that they pursued Ambassador Sondland for financial and personal gain — an investment, a job, and insurance brokerage work — and he declined their proposals," McDermott wrote.
The publications that published the allegations, the Portland Monthly and Soros-funded nonprofit investigative news agency ProPublica have behaved...curiously:
Sondland's team asked for more time to respond, as the detailed allegations were sent to them late in the evening on November 23, a Saturday. Sondland's team asked to move the deadline back to Wednesday, since his attorney was traveling and Sondland himself was in Europe. [ProPublica editor] Umansky only agreed to push the deadline back to 9 a.m. Tuesday morning. (snip)
Sondland's team responded by saying it was unfair to give them so little time when the reporting had been ongoing for several weeks, as they needed to find and review decade-old emails and documents to see what actually occurred at the times the women claimed.
The other outlet publishing the charges has a bit of a conflict of interest problem:
The accuser who appears to have prompted the story, Nicole Vogel, first told her story at an event in Seattle, after she had allegedly been moved to tears after hearing Sondland's name mentioned in a segment on NPR. Sondland's confirmation in 2018 was all over the news, especially in Portland, yet this did not apparently bring Vogel to tears.
An editor's note on the ProPublic article mentions that Vogel just so happens to own Portland Monthly, one of the outlets that investigated the claims. This editor's note says Vogel "cooperated with the story as a source" and "was not involved in editorial decisions."
Vogel claimed to ProPublica that the story would not benefit her magazine, a dubious claim given the amount of media attention the local outlet. Vogel also told ProPublica that Portland Monthly had been placed in rooms in Sondland's hotels, but that she withdrew the magazines "last week."
Vogel claimed that she met with Sondland in 2003 to discuss him investing in her magazine concept. She claimed Sondland indicated to her over dinner that he was going to invest in her idea. He then invited her to view the art in one of the rooms of the Hotel Lucia and once there, Sondland requested a hug and then grabbed her face and tried to kiss her. Vogel then met with Sondland a few weeks later and that he picked her up in a vintage convertible and drove her to a restaurant. She said during the ride Sondland placed his hand on her thigh for about 10 minutes and that she placed her hand on his to keep him from moving further up her leg.
Sondland later declined to invest in Vogel's magazine.
McDermott, Sondland's attorney, wrote in his letter to ProPublica that Vogel did seek an investment from Sondland, but after due diligence, decided not to take her up on the proposal. On Thursday morning, Sondland's team sent The Daily Wire an email from Sondland, which said he had initially been interested in investing in Vogel's magazine and brought her to meet the publisher of a local media outlet in Vancouver, Washington due to his expertise. Sondland said that the publisher "declined to invest for several business reasons once he evaluated her prospectus and recommended that I not do so either." In a follow-up email, this publisher said Sondland's account of how Vogel's proposal was declined "is correct."
Read the entire Asche Schow article for even more damning information about this smear job — designed, in my mind, to punish those who appear to assist Donald Trump.