Gordon Sondland, ambassador quoted in Ukraine texts, to appear before House panel

Cheryl Sanders
October 11, 2019

"In a new Daily Beast piece on Democrats" interest in tracking who paid Giuliani for his work for Trump, Giuliani said he was not paid for any of his pressure campaign work in Ukraine. She did not respond to questions posed by reporters.

According to media reports, Trump took the action after complaints by his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others that Yovanovitch had obstructed Giuliani's efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate former USA vice-president Joe Biden.

On Thursday, 10 Democratic senators sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanding an explanation for Yovanovitch's removal before the end of her three-year assignment.

President Donald Trump: "I don't know those gentlemen".

There has been no evidence either Biden was engaged in illegal activities. He said Trump was not leveraging military aid to get Zelensky to launch an investigation into a political rival. Trump has described the call as "perfect", denying wrongdoing.

In a July 25 call, Trump told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that Yovanovitch was "bad news", according to a partial transcript released by the White House.

"She's going to go through some things", Trump added. Sessions is not named in the indictment, but is believed to be "Congressman 1", who is tied to the duo's efforts to oust Yovanovitch from the State Department. According to the Texas Observer, Sessions reportedly believes he was approached by the two because of his role as chair of the Turkey caucus. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) hinted earlier this week that the committees were interested in hearing from Taylor, the US charges d'affaires in Kyiv.

Yovanovitch previously served as USA ambassador to Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

Sondland's closed-door interview was originally scheduled for earlier this week, but his appearance was blocked by the State Department. The committees are intelligence, foreign and oversight.

Gordon Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, will testify to the House under subpoena next week, according to his legal team. House Democrats received a cache of the texts as part of their impeachment inquiry.

"Ambassador Sondland does not control the disposition of his documents".

"The president has been crystal clear no quid pro quo of any kind", Sondland said.

Democrats believe President Donald Trump abused his powers by withholding military aid in exchange for a political favor from a foreign power to interfere in USA elections.

The pair, Ukraine-born Lev Parnas and Belarus-born Igor Fruman, were arrested at an airport outside Washington carrying one-way tickets to Vienna. Trump has responded that he and his administration will not cooperate or participate in the House impeachment process.

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