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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

How a Shadow Foreign Policy in Ukraine Prompted an Impeachment Inquiry

  How a Shadow Foreign Policy in Ukraine Prompted an Impeachment Inquiry Petro O. Poroshenko was still the president of Ukraine earlier this year when his team sought a lifeline. Over several weeks in March, the office of Ukraine’s top prosecutor moved ahead on two investigations of intense interest to Mr. Trump. One was focused on an oligarch — previously cleared of wrongdoing by the same prosecutor — whose company employed former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son. The other dealt with the release by a separate Ukrainian law enforcement agency to the media of information that hurt Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the executive branch and all future occupants of The letter came shortly after the White House blocked the interview of a key witness , Gordon D Today, the White House response to the impeachment inquiry has been to dismiss the

Witnesses in the impeachment inquiry were split. Some said it was a request. As this report details, the impeachment inquiry has found that President Trump , personally and acting through agents within A dozen witnesses followed President Trump ’s orders , defying voluntary requests

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.

Unfit for Office

  Unfit for Office Unfit for Office

President Trump in a campaign to pressure Ukraine to publicly commit to investigating former The questions presented by this impeachment inquiry are whether President Trump sought to exploit The matter is as simple and as terrible as that. Our answer to these questions will affect not only the And it set a tone early on that these two witnesses were going to speak with great authority about

Bid to call witnesses in the Trump impeachment trial fails, setting up a likely acquittal next week. Trump was impeached on two charges - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The first charge stemmed from an allegation that he pressured Ukraine to damage Mr Biden for his own political benefit.

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.

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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.

Top Military Officers Unload on Trump

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its inquiry was from witnesses who largely were a degree of separation removed from Mr. Trump has bedeviled impeachment investigators: The White House has directed top aides to Mr. Trump not to orders him to, and has made clear he will file a lawsuit to put the matter into court if he receives

Today: President Trump has undertaken a campaign of retribution against those who crossed him during the impeachment inquiry and favors for It’s not about his role in impeachment . It’s just part of this overall restructuring. And that’s frankly how other presidents might have handled a situation like

“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.

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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.

Mulvaney Says, Then Denies, That Trump Held Back Ukraine Aid as Quid Pro Quo .
WASHINGTON — Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, threw the Trump administration’s defense against impeachment into disarray on Thursday when he said that the White House withheld nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine to further President Trump’s political interests. theoryWASHINGTON — Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, threw the Trump administration’s defense against impeachment into disarray on Thursday when he said that the White House withheld nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine to further President Trump’s political interests.

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