ASAP Rocky became embroiled in international legal trouble last summer when he was arrested in Sweden following a camera-captured brawl. Rocky was kept behind bars in Sweden while awaiting trial and was eventually found guilty of assault. Though Rocky walked away without having to serve any jail time for the conviction, President Trump managed to get himself involved in the legal situation.
Per Kanye West’s request, Trump called Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, saying he planned on getting Rocky safely home. Instead of helping the situation, however, Trump’s comments to Lofven only made things more complicated. Lofven responded that ‘everyone is equal before the law,’ including ‘visitors from other countries’ and that Trump’s phone call would not ‘attempt to influence the legal proceedings.’ Fast forward to now. Trump is under a Senate-sanctioned impeachment inquiry and several officials who worked with him are testifying in front of Congress. David Holmes, a State department official, testified to Congress about his experience with E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland. According to Holmes, Trump had planned on Rocky getting convicted all along.
Washington Post senior political reporter Aaron Blake got ahold of a transcript of Holmes’ testimony. Blake shared a portion of that transcript on Twitter. According to Holmes, Sondland told the president that Rocky was “kind of f*cked there” and that he “should have pleaded guilty.”
He recommended that the President wait until after the sentencing or it will make it worse,’ adding that that the President should ‘let him get sentenced, play the racism card, give him a ticker-tape when he comes home.’ Ambassador Sondland further told the President that Sweden ‘should have released him on your word,’ but that ‘you can tell the Kardashians you tried.’
Per Holmes's testimony, Sondland advised Trump to let the A$AP Rocky thing go for a bit but then "play the racism card":
"… Let him get sentenced, play the racism card, give him a ticker-tape when he comes home." pic.twitter.com/F0HfZOx72b
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) November 16, 2019
Holmes’ testimony would explain why the White House was reportedly upset that Rocky didn’t personally thank the President after he returned home. Uproxx has compiled a list of all that happened during the early stages of Trump’s impeachment inquiry. Read it here.