US Ambassador to EU Will Testify in Ukraine Probe, Defying Trump Administration - NBC 10 Philadelphia

US Ambassador to EU Will Testify in Ukraine Probe, Defying Trump Administration

Ambassador Gordon Sondland was originally scheduled for a deposition this past Tuesday but did not show up on direction from the State Department

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    House Subpoenas Pentagon, WH Chiefs in Ukraine Probe

    House Democrats issued two new subpoenas Monday as part of their growing impeachment inquiry, asking the Secretary of Defense and acting White House Budget Director for documents about the timing and reasons President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine. (Published Monday, Oct. 7, 2019)

    Lawyers for Ambassador Gordon Sondland announced Friday that he will appear for an interview before a joint House committee taking depositions in the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump despite having been ordered by the State Department not to appear.

    Sondland attorneys Robert Luskin and Kwame Manley said Sondland will honor a congressional subpoena and "looks forward to testifying" Oct. 17. The lawyers said Friday that Sondland has no agenda apart from answering questions "fully and truthfully."

    Sondland is the sitting U.S. ambassador to the European Union and an employee of the State Department.

    He has also been ordered to produce "relevant documents" but his lawyers said he won't be bringing documents with him. They said the State Department has sole authority to produce such documents and that Sondland hopes they'll be shared with the committees before his testimony.

    Lawmakers React After Ambassador Fails to Appear in Impeachment Probe

    [NATL] Lawmakers React After Ambassador Fails to Appear in Impeachment Probe

    Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, react after U.S. European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland failed to appear before a House panel conducting the Trump impeachment inquiry.

    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019)

    Sondland was originally scheduled for a deposition this past Tuesday but did not show up on direction from the State Department. Trump tweeted immediately afterward that he couldn't let Sondland testify because the Democrat-led probe was "compromised."

    The joint House committee issued the subpoena for Sondland's testimony hours later.

    "Notwithstanding the State Department's current direction to not testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the Committees' subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday," said a statement from attorneys Robert Luskin and Kwame Manley. "Ambassador Sondland has at all times acted with integrity and in the interests of the United States. He has no agenda apart from answering the Committees' questions fully and truthfully."

    Democrats want to ask him about text messages released last week that show him and two other U.S. diplomats acting as intermediaries as Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Ukraine's involvement in the 2016 U.S. election and Hunter Biden's involvement with a gas company there.

    Earlier this week, the White House sent Congress a letter outlining its opposition to the impeachment probe and refusing to cooperate with requests for information, including interviews with administration officials. The House committees have moved to subpoena officials instead.

    The three House committees have scheduled closed-door depositions for almost every day next week — though it's unclear if everyone will show up.

    Former Ukraine Envoy to Testify in Impeachment Inquiry

    [NATL] Former Ukraine Envoy to Testify in Impeachment Inquiry

    Kurt Volker, the former Special Envoy to Ukraine, testifies before Congress Thursday on how his office handled the aftermath of President Trump's controversial July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Volker resigned last week after being named in the whistleblower complaint centered on the call, which sparked the impeachment inquiry.

    (Published Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019)

    On Monday, Fiona Hill, a former White House adviser who focused on Russia, is expected to testify. Other current State Department officials scheduled for testimony are Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent on Tuesday and Ulrich Brechbuhl, a State Department counselor, on Thursday.

    The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who was ousted from her post after insisting that Rudy Giuliani's requests to Ukrainian officials for investigations be relayed through official channels, is scheduled to testify on Friday.