Live updates: Gordon Sondland testifies in Trump impeachment hearing

Axios Politics 3 weeks ago

European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland is testifying Wednesday morning in one of the week's most-anticipated impeachment hearings.

Driving the news: In his opening statement, Sondland will say that he worked with Rudy Giuliani "at the express direction" of President Trump on matters involving Ukraine.

This post will be updated with new developments as the hearing continues.

  • He also will confirm that a quid pro quo preconditioning a White House meeting in exchange for an investigation into the Biden family's business dealings in Ukraine took place and "reflected President Trump's desires and requirements."
  • He said that he believed that the resumption of military aid to the country came to be conditioned on a Biden-linked investigation as well.

Why it matters, per Axios' Alayna Treene: Sondland has spoken with President Trump about the political investigations central to the impeachment inquiry. His testimony gives the House Intelligence Committee the chance to grill someone with firsthand knowledge of what Trump himself knew — and when he knew it.

What to know: Sondland is a key figure in alleged efforts by Trump and Rudy Giuliani to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and the 2016 presidential election.

  • He revised his closed-door testimony to reflect that he told an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that military assistance would not be released until Zelensky issued a statement agreeing to investigate Burisma, a gas company with ties to Biden's son.
  • State Department official David Holmes said in his closed-door testimony that he overheard a call between Trump and Sondland about "the investigation" on July 26 — one day after the Trump-Zelensky call at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

The backdrop: Sondland donated $1 million to Trump's inaugural committee and has been described as "a Trump guy."


The past hearings:

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USA Today › Politics › 3 weeks ago
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies in Trump impeachment inquiry public hearing on Nov. 20, 2019.
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Gordon Sondland will testify before the House Intelligence Committee as part of the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry on Wednesday.
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Gordon Sondland, the US's ambassador to the European Union, will turn on President Donald Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, when he testifies as part of Congress' impeachment inquiry on Thursday. Sondland will tell lawmakers he was against Trump's...
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REUTERSU.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is set to throw Rudy Giuliani under the bus when he testifies to Congress this morning. Sondland has been at the heart of the Trump administration’s efforts to pressure Kyiv to investigate...
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At Wednesday's impeachment hearing, Ambassador Gordon Sondland reacted to President Trump's comment that he doesn't know Sondland well. Sondland said he and the president were not "close friends" but have a "professional, cordial working relationship."
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