Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who counts among president Donald Trump's most avid defenders in the ongoing impeachment inquiry in the House, made a gaffe on national TV, and elicited loud laughter from the key witness he was interviewing, by asking a question that seemingly made no sense.

Firing-off questions in rapid fashion, Jordan told U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland:

"On page 14 you said this. Was there a quid pro quo ... When the chairman asked you about the security assistance knowledge, you said there needed to be a public announcement from Zelensky. So, I'm asking you a simple question. When did that happen?"

"Never did," replied Sondland.

"Never did," echoed Jordan, who went on to say, "They got the call on July 25th ... When did the meeting happen again?"

"Never did," replied Sondland again.

Jordan then asked, "You know who was in the meeting?"

"Which meeting are you referring to?" asked Sondland.

"The meeting that never happened. Who was in it?" asked Jordan.

Sondland laughs out loud, "Ha, ha, ha, ha!"

Oblivious to his embarrassing gaffe, Jordan went on a tirade against Sondland, who sat quiet and stony faced.

Sondland, who has first-hand knowledge of the Ukraine scandal, was widely expected to exonerate Trump of the impeachable charges of bribery and high crimes and misdemeanors by confirming there was no quid pro quo with Ukraine and Trump had no knowledge of this.

Instead, Sondland delivered the most devastating testimony against Trump that belied all of Trump's and the Republican's party's previous claims of innocence. In effect, Sondland threw Trump under the bus with his bombshell testimony before millions on live TV.

Sondland told the committee he worked with Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, on Ukraine at the "directions of the president." He also affirmed "a quid pro quo" with Ukraine did indeed take place.

This quid pro quo involved a White House visit for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in exchange for his announcing his country will launch investigations into Joe Biden. Zelensky was also to have confirmed the right-wing conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies in the House Intelligence COmmittee's hearing on impeaching President Donald Trump US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies in the House Intelligence COmmittee's hearing on impeaching President Donald Trump Photo: AFP / Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS

In order to pressure Zelensky to live-up to his part of the deal, Trump ordered the federal government not to release congressionally approved military aid worth $400 million destined for Ukraine.

Sondland said while Trump never directly told him what he wanted Ukraine to investigate, Giuliani's instructions to him "reflected President Trump's desires and requirements."

"I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a 'quid pro quo?' As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes," Sondland asserted.

Sondland also said "Giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the president."

Sondland's bombshell testimony comes at a pivotal moment in the Democrat-led House's impeachment proceedings now in the midst of the second week of public hearings.

The impeachment inquiry launched by Democrats on September 24 revolves around a July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky. In this call, Trump demanded Zelensky launch an investigation into Biden, and his son, Hunter. The latter had served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company. Subsequent investigations by both the U.S. and Ukraine proved there is no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens.

Sondland told investigators he and other top administration officials involved in U.S. diplomacy wanted nothing to do with Giuliani, who launched a parallel and illegal foreign policy track vis-a-vis Ukraine.

"We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani," said Sondland. "Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt. We all understood that if we refused to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine. So, we followed the president's orders."

Trump was apparently taken aback by Sondland's grievous testimony, which he tried to waterdown by claiming it proved his innocence.

"I said to the ambassador in response, I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky, President Zelensky to do the right thing," said Trump, noting that he thought the testimony was "fantastic."