The White House took the controversial step Tuesday of ordering a key witness in the Ukraine controversy not to testify before Congress, and President Trump quickly defended the move on Twitter. "I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court," the president wrote. The reference is to Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the EU, who was one of the diplomats who communicated with Ukraine officials as Trump suggested they investigate the Bidens. Related:
- Schiff's response: Democrat Adam Schiff said the Sondland decision amounted to obstruction of justice. That is "potentially profound," per the New York Times, because Democrats have warned that obstruction is grounds for impeachment. Schiff also asserted that Sondland has pertinent messages on a personal device that haven't been turned over the Congress, reports the Hill.
- Subpoena coming: Schiff and two other panel chairs involved in the impeachment inquiry said they would issue a subpoena for Sondland to appear. (7pm ET update: A subpoena has indeed been issued.) "We consider this interference to be obstruction of the impeachment inquiry," the three committee chairmen said in a statement, per the Washington Post. "We will be issuing [a] subpoena to Ambassador Sondland for both his testimony and documents."