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."
- Still, Trump claimed that he "hardly [knows]" Sondland earlier this month.
The past hearings: