US News: Witness in Trump-Ukraine Matter Ordered Not to Speak in Impeachment Inquiry - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
  •   
  •   

US News Witness in Trump-Ukraine Matter Ordered Not to Speak in Impeachment Inquiry

16:25  08 october  2019
16:25  08 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

Trump says he wants Schiff questioned for treason, promises ‘big consequences’ for person who gave info to whistle-blower

  Trump says he wants Schiff questioned for treason, promises ‘big consequences’ for person who gave info to whistle-blower President Trump said he wants Adam Schiff — who chairs the House intelligence panel — questioned for treason, and promised “big consequences” for whomever gave the whistle-blower information. Video: Democrats allege Trump abused his power (Fox News) Your browser does not support this video require(["binding"], function (binding) { binding("wcVideoPlayer", "#video_player_e1e170a0-7e81-4df2-a061-83a99c2671de").

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration directed a top American diplomat involved in its pressure campaign on Ukraine not to appear Tuesday morning for a scheduled interview in the House’s impeachment inquiry .

Mr. Trump , who for months has dared Democrats to impeach him, issued a defiant response on Twitter while in New York for several days of international diplomacy at the United Republicans argue that without one, the House is not truly in an impeachment inquiry , no matter what Democrats say.

Watch: White House blocks EU ambassador from testifying in impeachment inquiry (Fox)

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration directed a top American diplomat involved in its pressure campaign on Ukraine not to appear Tuesday morning for a scheduled interview in the House’s impeachment inquiry.

The decision to block Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, from speaking with investigators for three House committees is certain to provoke an immediate conflict with potentially profound consequences for the White House and President Trump. House Democrats have repeatedly warned that if the administration tries to interfere with their investigation, it will be construed as obstruction, a charge they see as potentially worthy of impeachment.

Trump's day of rage: Profanity, false accusations and a press spat

  Trump's day of rage: Profanity, false accusations and a press spat The president lashed out at Hill Democrats as House leaders announced a fresh round of potential White House subpoenas.In the stretch of a few hours, Trump called Democratic impeachment efforts "BULLS**T," got into a verbal altercation with a reporter during a press conference, and delivered unfounded claims about his political rivals. His anger was visible — his face flushed at times, his voice raised, his gestures increasingly animated.

Pelosi launches formal Trump impeachment inquiry . By Stefan Becket, Kathryn Watson, Camilo Montoya-Galvez House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announces a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump , on Capitol Hill GOP leader: Pelosi "does not speak for America" on impeachment .

The status of the documents and witness testimony being collected by congressional investigators. Congressional investigators have been issuing near-daily requests or subpoenas for documents and witness testimony related to Mr. Trump ’s efforts to pressure the president of Ukraine to investigate

Donald Trump, Gordon Sondland are posing for a picture: The American ambassador to the European Union, Gordon D. Sondland, with President Trump in Brussels in July. © Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press The American ambassador to the European Union, Gordon D. Sondland, with President Trump in Brussels in July. Democrats from the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Government Affairs committees did not immediately respond on Tuesday.

Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter 

But in making the decision, hours before he was scheduled to sit for a deposition in the basement of the Capitol, the Trump administration appears to be calculating that it is better off risking the House’s ire than letting Mr. Sondland show up and set a precedent for cooperation with an inquiry they have strenuously argued is illegitimate.

Robert Luskin, Mr. Sondland’s lawyer, said in a statement that as a State Department employee, his client had no choice but to comply with the administration’s direction. He said Mr. Sondland had been prepared and happy to testify, and would do so in the future if allowed.

Trump's day of rage: Profanity, false accusations and a press spat

  Trump's day of rage: Profanity, false accusations and a press spat NASA have found new organic compounds in ice grains ejected from Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

Here’s what you need to know: The House subpoenaed the Pentagon and the budget office for documents about the Trump administration’s decision to withhold security aid for Ukraine . A second intelligence official is now being protected as a whistle-blower.

In short order , he was forced to explain himself to the Trump campaign’s political director, top In Texas, Representative Will Hurd — who is retiring, and therefore perhaps feeling liberated to speak his mind “Overwhelmingly, Republicans oppose the impeachment inquiry ,” said Mr. Ayres, the pollster.

“Ambassador Sondland is profoundly disappointed that he will not be able to testify today,” Mr. Luskin said. “Ambassador Sondland believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States, and he stands ready to answer the committee’s questions fully and truthfully.”

Mr. Sondland has become enmeshed in the burgeoning scandal into how the president sought to push the Ukrainians to investigate his political rivals. Although Ukraine is not in the union, Mr. Trump instructed Mr. Sondland — a wealthy hotelier and campaign contributor — to take a lead in relations between the Trump administration and the country. Democrats consider him a key witness to what transpired between the two countries.

Slideshow by photo services

Mr. Sondland interacted directly with Mr. Trump, speaking with the president several times around key moments that House Democrats are now investigating, including before and after Mr. Trump’s July call with the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky. The president asked Mr. Zelensky on the call to do him “a favor” and investigate the business dealings of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son and a conspiracy theory about Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election.

Text messages provided to Congress last week showed that Mr. Sondland and another senior diplomat had worked on language for a statement they wanted the Ukrainian president to put out in August that would have committed him to the investigations sought by Mr. Trump. The diplomats consulted with Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, about the statement, believing they needed to pacify him in order to allow the United States to normalize relations with the Ukrainians.

Mr. Sondland was also involved in a back and forth with top American diplomats to Ukraine over text last month demonstrating that some senior State Department officials believed that Mr. Trump may have been holding up $391 million in security aid for Ukraine as leverage for getting its leaders to conduct the investigations Mr. Trump wanted.

“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” William B. Taylor Jr., a top American official in Ukraine, wrote in one exchange in early September.

After receiving the text, Mr. Sondland called Mr. Trump, who asserted it was false.

“Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions,” Mr. Sondland wrote in the messages. “The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.”

Mr. Sondland added: “I suggest we stop the back and forth by text.”

There have been conflicting accounts of Mr. Sondland’s views, however. Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, told The Wall Street Journal last week that Mr. Sondland had told him in August that the release of the aid was contingent upon Ukraine opening the investigations. Mr. Johnson was alarmed and asked Mr. Trump if there was a quid pro quo involved. The president adamantly denied it, he said.

Trump's Doral Resort Will Host the G7. That Will Only Raise More Ethical Questions .
The White House said the Trump National Doral Miami golf resort is the "best place" in the country to hold the annual summit , which brings together leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.Video: President Trump Will Host Next G-7 Summit At His Florida Resort (Newsy) Your browser does not support this video require(["binding"], function (binding) { binding("wcVideoPlayer", "#video_player_3f49f99c-4d6d-4480-b13e-20d447eb62e9").

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 3
This is interesting!