WASHINGTON (WFLA) – Another day, another impeachment hearing on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, one of the most anticipated witnesses in the public hearings faced tough questions from lawmakers.
Gordon Sondland is the U.S. ambassador to the European Union and Democrats grilled Sondland on new details that emerged from the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor last week about a critical phone call between Sondland and President Donald Trump about Ukraine.
Sondland told House investigators that he delivered a key message to a Ukrainian official this year: Trump would not unfreeze more than $390 million in assistance for Ukraine unless Ukraine made a public statement committing to investigations Trump believed might help him in the 2020 election, NPR reported. That was revealed after he gave closed-door testimony in October and then submitted a three-page amendment in November after reviewing statements from Ambassador William Taylor and Tim Morrison.
Ambassador Gordon Sondland told impeachment investigators that President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani explicitly sought a “quid pro quo” with Ukraine, leveraging an Oval Office visit for political investigations of Democrats. He also came to believe the trade involved much more.
Back in May, Rudy Giuliani mentioned a connection between a Ukrainian gas company and Hunter Biden. But two key witnesses in the impeachment investigation insist they did not realize that pushing Ukraine to investigate the gas company was code for investigating Joe Biden and his son.
Lawmakers also heard from Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian Affairs, and David Hale, the undersecretary of state for political affairs.
Our experts broke down the latest developments during breaks in the hearing.