This is an important point that gets at the GOP’s key “defense” (which of course is indefensible) that because the witnesses didn’t know what Don was thinking they cannot speak to his intentions.
That’s all well and good, but it therefore naturally follows that Don’s defenders — who also did not know what Don was thinking — similarly cannot speak to his intentions.
So who can? Well Don himself, of course, but any defendant will say what they need to say in order to be acquitted, so we can’t take Don’s explanation at face value (on top of that, of course, there is the fact that we can’t take anything Don says at face value since he is likely to go down in history as the world’s most prolific liar…no seriously, we can quantify that at this point).
That leaves us with all of the men and women who were in some way privvy to what was happening and left to infer and figure things out on their own, or as Gordon Sondland said, to put 2 and 2 together.
So it is incredibly damning and telling that quite literally every single one of the witnesses who testified publicly said that — at some point or another — they found that the president’s intentions were nefarious. Except for Don himself, everyone connected to this crime is speculating about Don’s intentions, and they’re all speculating the same thing because the mountain of evidence lends itself to one and only one conclusion. To look at the accumulated evidence and speculate otherwise is — as you say — ludicrous. Based on a criminal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” this is a slam dunk.
Not one witness had a reasonable doubt about Don’s intentions. Nor do the American people — or those of us with IQs and empathy anyhow.