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Politics Here Are The Top Trump Administration Officials Implicated By Gordon Sondland

22:25  20 november  2019
22:25  20 november  2019 Source:   huffingtonpost.com

AP source: 2nd US official heard Trump call with Sondland

  AP source: 2nd US official heard Trump call with Sondland A second U.S. embassy staffer in Kyiv overheard a key cellphone call between President Donald Trump and his ambassador to the European Union discussing the need for Ukrainian officials to pursue “investigations,” The Associated Press has learned. The July 26 call between Trump and Gordon Sondland was first described during testimony Wednesday by William B. Taylor Jr., the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Taylor said one of his staffers overhead the call while Sondland was in a restaurant the day after Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that triggered the House impeachment inquiry.

Gordon Sondland , the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, delivered a bombshell opening statement at the House impeachment hearing on Wednesday, testifying that a clear understanding existed among top administration officials that President Donald Trump sought to extort Ukraine’s

President Donald Trump fired two key impeachment witnesses Friday, dismissing Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert at the National Security Council, and US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland .

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, delivered a bombshell opening statement at the House impeachment hearing on Wednesday, testifying that a clear understanding existed among top administration officials that President Donald Trump sought to extort Ukraine’s government for personal political gain.

Mike Pompeo, Mick Mulvaney are posing for a picture: Trump impeachment image© Getty/HuffPost Trump impeachment image

“Everyone knew. It was no secret,” Sondland said, referring to leading White House, State Department and National Security Council officials, as well as Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Sondland then provided numerous examples of the effort to get Ukraine to open an investigation that would damage Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in exchange for a meeting with Trump and $391 million in military aid that was being withheld.

Sondland said he was acting on Trump’s orders, aide told investigators

  Sondland said he was acting on Trump’s orders, aide told investigators Tim Morrison, a top White House national security aide, told impeachment investigators that Gordon Sondland — a U.S. ambassador at the center of the Ukraine scandal imperiling Donald Trump’s presidency — claimed to be acting on Trump’s orders, and was regularly in touch with him. © Provided by Politico, LLC Top White House national security aide Tim Morrison. “Every time you went to check to see whether he had, in fact, talked to the president, you found that he had talked to the president?” one lawmaker wondered, according to a transcript of Morrison’s testimony released Saturday.“Yes,” Morrison replied.

When Gordon Sondland walked into the congressional impeachment hearing shortly after 9 am , reports were circulating that the Trump administration and On Wednesday, after Sondland ’s unambiguous opening statement implicating the president in the strong-arming of Ukrainian government, Trump

Gordon Sondland , the US ambassador to the European Union, stunned Washington with bombshell evidence that blew a hole in the White House’s defences, implicated numerous senior officials and left the US president facing probable impeachment.

Sondland’s abrupt turn from playing dumb in the early stages of the scandal ― to the point where it defied belief ― to implicating those at the highest levels of government in a sprawling quid pro quo scheme is the most dramatic development so far in the impeachment inquiry. It puts immense pressure on top White House officials and diplomats, most of which have refused to testify, to explain themselves.

Here’s a rundown of who Sondland implicated in his testimony on Wednesday:

Trump, who Sondland suggested was directing the quid pro quo effort and had tasked Giuliani with seeing it through. On Trump’s behalf, Giuliani “demanded that Ukraine make a public statement announcing investigations” related to Biden, according to Sondland, as well as a conspiracy theory about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.

The Two Most Important Sentences of the Impeachment Hearings

  The Two Most Important Sentences of the Impeachment Hearings Ambassador Gordon Sondland delivered a bombshell this morning.“Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret.

US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland changed the course of the House Here are five takeaways from Sondland 's bombshell testimony: Sondland pressed Ukraine at Trump 's He also implicated key White House officials , including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State

Sondland implicates top officials in "quid pro quo" Ukraine scheme. Gordon Sondland , the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testified before the House Intelligence Committee as Sondland implicated President Trump and Secretary of State in a "quid pro quo" scheme to pressure Ukraine

Although Sondland did not say that Trump directly instructed him to seek such a quid pro quo, he testified that Giuliani was “expressing the desires of the president of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the president.”

Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer who Sondland said became the president’s go-between on the quid pro quo push with Ukraine. Sondland and other officials “did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani,” but were compelled to follow Trump’s orders, Sondland testified. Sondland added that Giuliani’s attempt to pressure Ukraine into launching investigations were a quid pro quo to secure a White House visit for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and that he also suspected military aid was being withheld as part of that effort.

Sondland also testified that Giuliani emphasized that Trump wanted Zelensky to make a public statement about launching corruption investigations, specifically mentioning the 2016 election conspiracy and the Ukrainian gas company on whose board Biden’s son Hunter served. Giuliani was also communicating directly with Ukrainian officials without U.S. diplomats’ knowledge, according to Sondland.

Ken Starr: Sondland testimony will be remembered as 'one of those bombshell days'

  Ken Starr: Sondland testimony will be remembered as 'one of those bombshell days' Former independent counsel Ken Starr claimed that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland's testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee would prove to be monumental moving forward. During his Wednesday morning testimony, Sondland affirmed a quid pro quo agreement for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to secure a meeting and phone call with President Trump. But, he also reiterated the fact that he has no direct evidence to tie those claims to the aid that Trump had held up.

Sondland pointed the finger at Trump , Pompeo and Bolton, while Laura Cooper testified Ukrainians were aware of the aid situation earlier than previously known. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is sworn in at the House impeachment inquiry hearing on Wednesday.Doug Mills

The White House had ordered top diplomat Gordon Sondland not to appear for a scheduled deposition with House committees conducting an impeachment House Democrats subpoena key witness Gordon Sondland after Trump administration blocks his testimony in impeachment probe.

― Vice President Mike Pence, who attended a meeting with Sondland and Zelesnky on Sept. 1 in Warsaw, Poland. Sondland testified that before the meeting he directly raised concerns with Pence that the delayed military aid “had become tied to the issue of investigations.” Zelensky also raised the issue of aid in the meeting, according to Sondland, and Pence said he would ask Trump about it.

Pence’s office said in a statement issued while Sondland was still testifying that  the vice president “never had a conversation with Gordon Sondland about investigating the Bidens, Burisma, or the conditional release of financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations.”

― Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who Sondland said was kept informed of the efforts concerning Ukraine. Pompeo was included on a July 19 email from Sondland which mentioned that Zelensky would tell Trump “he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will ‘turn over every stone’.” Pompeo was also on several other emails that indirectly referenced Ukraine announcing the investigations Trump demanded.

Jordan slams Sondland for omitting Trump’s ‘no quid pro quo’ claim from statement

  Jordan slams Sondland for omitting Trump’s ‘no quid pro quo’ claim from statement Rep. Jim Jordan blasted Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland for omitting President Trump’s apparent claim that he wanted “no quid pro quo” with Ukraine from his opening statement, during his testimony at Wednesday's impeachment hearing.The story of the Trump-Sondland exchange emerged as a key moment for Republicans defending Trump's role in the Ukraine issue. While not mentioning it in his opening statement, Sondland eventually said under questioning that Trump told him "I want nothing, I want no quid pro quo" -- apparently concerning whether military aid and more was tied to his requests for politically advantageous investigations from Ukraine.

A top Trump donor and top Trump administration diplomat could become a top witness for House Democrats Wednesday, when he testifies publicly as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump . U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is set to appear for a

US Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified Wednesday there was a quid pro quo for Ukraine to announce Sondland 's testimony is the most damning evidence to date directly implicating Trump in the Sondland 's testimony names a number of senior Trump administration officials who have

Sondland also said he communicated with Pompeo’s counselor, Ulrich Brechbuehl, and the State Department’s executive secretary, Lisa Kenna.“They knew what we were doing and why,” Sondland testified.

― White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney was also included on the July 19 email referencing the investigations, as was Mulvaney’s senior adviser, Robert Blair. Both have refused to testify in impeachment hearings.

― Energy Secretary Rick Perry and former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, who Sondland said made up, along with himself, the backchannel with Ukraine to push for investigations. Giuliani expressed toPerry, Volker and Sondland that Trump wanted Ukraine to launch investigations.

Perry’s chief of staff, Brian McCormack, was also included in the July 19 email about Zelensky investigations. Volkertestified on Monday that he did not know at the time there was a quid pro quo effort, but that in hindsight he should have seen the connection with Biden and would have raised an objection. Perry has refused to testify.

― Former national security adviser John Bolton, who Sondland said was kept informed of the U.S. diplomatic activities involving Ukraine. Bolton also emailed Sondland to request Giuliani’s contact information on Aug. 26.

― Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), with whom Sondland raised concerns about security aid being withheld as part of a potential quid pro quo arrangement, Sondland said.

“Again, everyone was in the loop,” Sondland said.

During the hearing, Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman told Sondland that Mulvaney, Bolton, McCormack, Blair and Perry had all been asked to come testify, but refused.

“Would you include them, as well as Secretary Pompeo, as key witnesses that would be able to provide some additional information on this inquiry?” Goldman asked.

“I think they would,” Sondland said.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Seven hours in the air with Sondland after he implicated Trump in his impeachment testimony .
In the middle of impeachment hearings Wednesday, as Ambassador Gordon Sondland implicated President Donald Trump in pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival, Sondland's lawyer interrupted with an intriguing detail: The ambassador had a flight to catch. © Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies during the House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on November 20, 2019.

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