Politics: Nunes Raised Steele Dossier in Sondland Hearing - - PressFrom - US

Politics Nunes Raised Steele Dossier in Sondland Hearing

05:05  18 october  2019
05:05  18 october  2019 Source:   thedailybeast.com

Democrats subpoena Sondland for testimony, documents

  Democrats subpoena Sondland for testimony, documents House Democrats issued a subpoena Tuesday evening for Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, to testify and produce documents in their impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The subpoena, which mandates that Sondland appear before Congress for a deposition on Oct. 16 and provide documents by Oct. 14, comes after the State Department barred his testimony."In light of Secretary Pompeo's direct intervention to block your appearance before our Committees, we are left with no choice but to compel your appearance at a deposition pursuant to the enclosed subpoena," Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.

The Trump–Russia dossier , also known as the Steele dossier , is a private intelligence report written from June to December 2016 containing allegations of misconduct and conspiracy between Donald

WASHINGTON — To foreign policy experts, it is no mystery why President Trump’s national security adviser tried in May to block Gordon D. Sondland from becoming a player in United States diplomacy with Ukraine.

During a closed-door impeachment meeting on Capitol Hill, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) brought up a topic that surprised some attendees: the Steele dossier. The context, according to three sources familiar with the episode, was his effort to explain why President Trump might be “upset” about Ukraine.

a man looking at the camera: Chip Somodevilla/Getty© Provided by The Daily Beast Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee that is leading the impeachment probe, said some of the dossier’s contents dealt with Ukraine, and that the Clintons paid for it. Some attendees said it seemed oddly divorced from the topic at hand–namely, whether Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate one of his political opponents.

Democrats subpoena Sondland for testimony, documents

  Democrats subpoena Sondland for testimony, documents A majority of Americans say the allegations against President Trump are serious and merit an impeachment inquiry by Congress, according to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. WSJ's Gerald F. Seib explains. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/CNP via ZUMA Wire

without the Steele dossier information,” suggesting the FBI did not believe probable cause existed Several Democrats have charged that the Nunes memo mischaracterized McCabe’s testimony and The Steele dossier contains explosive allegations that the Russian government, acting under orders

Devin Nunes ’ controversial memo has put Christopher Steele , the former British intelligence officer That brings the Steele dossier — yes, this is the document alleging the existence of a “pee tape” That work led to the compilation of Steele ’s dossier , written up in the style of an intelligence report

“It was nutso,” said one person familiar with the exchange. “It was awkward.”

That source added that Amb. Gordon Sondland—America’s envoy to the European Union, who was questioned at the meeting—appeared perplexed by Nunes’ commentary.

A Nunes spokesperson said the congressman has made the argument described above in public.

The dossier is at the crux of Republicans’ argument that the intelligence community conspired to take down Trump in 2016, and the president has tweeted about it dozens of times. Democrats view their focus on the document as conspiratorial and odd.

Democrats called Sondland to Capitol Hill to answer questions about his role helping Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, develop a shadow foreign policy on Ukraine focused on pressuring its government to investigate the Bidens. Democrats were particularly interested in a series of text exchanges, which U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker gave them last week, that reveal alarm from the top American diplomat in Ukraine over the possibility of a quid-pro-quo involving $400 million in U.S. security aid.

Sondland prepared to deny he was warned about Ukraine work

  Sondland prepared to deny he was warned about Ukraine work Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, is prepared to tell lawmakers this week that top White House national security officials never personally raised concerns with him about his dealings with Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine, a person familiar with his account told The Associated Press on Tuesday. That statement would be contrary to earlier testimony that Sondland's actions set off alarms in the West Wing. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Nunes ’ demands mirror prior requests from Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to A hearing Grassley convened in July covered the previously reported fact that Fusion GPS, the firm Democrats see an effort to gin up controversy over of the Steele memos to protect Trump.

Clash with witness shows Nunes ' drive to discredit dossier . John McCain who had met with ex-British agent Christopher Steele -- reappear before the committee on short notice. Nunes has wielded this considerable influence despite not attending classified hearings with witnesses after

Sondland testified that Trump directed him to send a message to Volker and Bill Taylor, the charge d’affaires in Kyiv, explicitly stating there was “no quid pro quo.” He also discussed his high opinion of ousted Amb. Marie Yovanovich and his discomfort with Giuliani’s Ukraine work.

Given the focus on Trump’s relationship with Ukraine, Nunes’ decision to bring up the dossier generated some raised eyebrows. But, in Nunes’ view, the dossier’s connection to Ukraine helps explain Trump’s frustration with the fragile Eastern European democracy. The dossier discussed, among many other things, Paul Manafort’s work in Ukraine. (Manafort was later convicted on tax and bank fraud charges, along with a charge of failing to disclose a foreign bank account.)

The dossier is a series of documents assembled by former British spy Christopher Steele, working on contract for the research firm Fusion GPS. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, in turn, funded some of that Fusion GPS work. The dossier made a host of allegations, including that the Russian government had compromising material on Trump. Many of the dossier’s claims are unverified. But it circulated among high-level U.S. government officials, and alarmed them. Then-FBI Director James Comey discussed its contents with Trump two weeks before his inauguration. The counterintelligence investigation scrutinizing Trump associates for Russia ties was already underway when the dossier began circulating in government.

Sondland Criticizes Trump Over Efforts to Pressure Ukraine

  Sondland Criticizes Trump Over Efforts to Pressure Ukraine Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, criticized President Trump over his efforts to enlist Ukraine in investigating a political rival.Mr. Sondland made the comments in prepared testimony to House committees as part of their impeachment inquiry, which is examining the president, his personal lawyer Mr. Giuliani and top diplomats’ dealings with Ukraine. Democrats have accused the president of abusing the power of his office to pressure a foreign country to pursue investigations that could benefit his re-election campaign. Mr. Trump has dismissed the inquiry as a hoax and denies wrongdoing.

The dossier has gained notoriety for its salacious, unproven claims about President Trump. Even Mrs. Clinton found about Mr. Steele ’s research only after BuzzFeed published the dossier In British court filings, Mr. Steele ’s lawyers said that he and Fusion GPS briefed journalists from a range of

Sondland said they noted that Zelensky had been elected after running on an anti-corruption campaign and urged the White House to arrange a phone call with Trump and later an Oval Office visit. “However, President Trump was skeptical that Ukraine was serious about reforms and anti-corruption

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court cited Fusion GPS’ work when it authorized surveillance of people affiliated with the Trump campaign. Republicans argue that this is evidence that the Intelligence Community conspired with the Clinton campaign to surveil Trump World and boost Clinton’s candidacy. The claim is widely rejected. Conservative talk show hosts, especially Sean Hannity, have made a cause celebre of investigating the origins of the Russia probe, as well as the dossier itself. Attorney General Bill Barr has dispatched John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, to scrutinize the matter.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Sondland Told House Panels Trump's Ukraine Pressure Was Quid Pro Quo .
A top U.S. diplomat told House committees last week that efforts by President Trump and his allies to press Kyiv to open investigations in exchange for a White House meeting with Ukraine’s president amounted to a quid pro quo, his lawyer said. © francois lenoir/ReutersGordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, told House committees that he believed Ukraine agreeing to open investigations into Burisma Group—a gas company where Democrat Joe Biden’s son once served on the board—and into alleged 2016 election interference was a condition for a White House meeting between Mr.

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