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gOrdon Sondland, a hotelier-turned-ambassador, halted his once-prolific political giving after he got caught up in the scandal surrounding President Donald Trump’s first impeachment.
For years, Sondland has been a reliable donor, disbursing over $537,000 to the federal (mainly Republican) campaigns from 1984 to 2019. When Trump won the election in 2016, Sondland contributed $1 million to the inaugural committee through four LLCs, according to data obtained by OpenSecrets. In March 2018, Trump appointed Sondland as United States Ambassador to the European Union.
Yet Sondland’s largesse came to a halt in March 2019, just months before his major role in Trump’s bid to pressure the Ukrainian government into announcing an investigation into Joe Biden’s family was revealed. Early Sondland disputed accounts that military aid to Ukraine had been made conditional on the European country clarifying an investigation into Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden. But Sondland later rolled over and implicated the president in a quid pro quo. Two days after the Senate acquitted Trump, he fired Sondland.
“Ambassador Sondland has elected to cease all political donations during and since his tenure,” said a spokesperson for Provenance, the hospitality company founded and chaired by Sondland.
This statement, however, does not quite match the public records. Sen. Thom Tillis’ (RN.C.) campaign reported receiving two $100 contributions from Sondland during his tenure at the State Department. But regardless, the general sentiment is true: Sondland seems to have lost its taste for funding politicians.