Gordon Sondland, the European Union Ambassador and hotelier who has been called “the Michael Cohen of Ukraine” by ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams, is set to testify in the impeachment inquiry before the House Intelligence Committee at 9 am ET on Wednesday.
NBC News reports: “Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland is pointing the finger at President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser John Bolton in explosive public testimony on Wednesday in which he says explicitly there was a “quid quo pro” linking a White House visit for Ukraine’s president to investigations into Trump’s political opponents. Under fire from all sides after multiple witnesses contradicted his earlier deposition, Sondland blames everyone but himself for the pressure campaign on Ukraine now driving impeachment proceedings against Trump. He plans to show up for his televised hearing with reams of new text messages and emails he said prove the highest levels of the White House and the State Department were in on it.”
Read the opening statement HERE.
Writes Politico: “The U.S. ambassador to the European Union has been cast as a potentially decisive witness to allegations that President Donald Trump pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his Democratic rivals — and possibly conditioned a $400 million package of military aid on his counterpart’s agreement. Unlike other witnesses who have appeared before House impeachment investigators, Sondland, who is testifying publicly Wednesday, was in regular contact with the president, and he sat in on nearly every meeting being scrutinized by investigators.”
The AP adds: “Sondland, a wealthy hotelier Trump tapped as his ambassador to the European Union, is more directly entangled than any witness yet in the Republican president’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and Democrats in the 2016 election. Yet Sondland already has amended his testimony once — ‘I now do recall,’ he said, talking to Ukraine about investigations.”
The NYT reports that Sondland kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the loop about key developments in the Ukraine extortion scheme: “The disclosures link Mr. Pompeo more directly to the Trump administration’s pressure campaign on Ukraine. It is not clear how specific Mr. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, was in his communications with Mr. Pompeo about what was being asked of the Ukrainians.”
The Daily Beast reports that Sondland’s hotels are being trashed on Yelp.