The Sondlands of the world, on the other hand, are a good bit more mercenary. They donate to the person they think is most likely to become the party’s nominee. For Sondland, that was Mitt Romney in 2012 and Jeb Bush in 2016. (Full disclosure: I volunteered for Jeb Bush in 2016.) Sondland eventually got aboard the Trump train but then, when it looked like Trump was a sure loser, he hopped off.
And when Trump won, he got right back on.
If there is any virtue in Sondland’s testimony, it’s that, as a rich guy only looking out for number one, he was unwilling to take the fall for Trump. Neither a true believer nor a normal mortal with finite resources, Sondland was the type of guy who was always going to find an exit.
That Trump wasn’t able to understand that about him is part and parcel with Trump’s inability to understand why a guy like Sondland shouldn’t be be given an important post in the first place.