Diplomat Revises His Impeachment Testimony

Gordon Sondland now acknowledges threat to hold up aid unless Ukraine did investigation
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2019 2:11 PM CST
Transcript of Diplomat Reveals a Key Revision
United States Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland attends the High Level Forum on Small Modular Reactors at EU headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019.   (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

The House panels conducting the impeachment inquiry released the testimony of two key players on Tuesday and sent word they want to hear from White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Axios sees a notable development in the transcript for Gordon Sondland, US ambassador to the European Union. Sondland testified on Oct. 17, but the transcript shows that he revised his testimony on Nov. 4. The key change: He said he told an aide to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that the nation would likely get no US aid until Zelensky committed publicly to investigate Hunter Biden. Initially, Sondland testified that he knew of no pressure tied to financial aid, though he acknowledged leveraging the prospect of a White House visit for Zelensky, reports the Washington Post. Another diplomat, William Taylor, cast doubt on Sondland's claim about that, however. Read Sondland's full transcript here via NPR.

The other deposition released was that of former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. Read it in full via NPR. As for Mulvaney, House Democrats leading the investigation wrote a letter asking him to appear for a deposition Friday, though it's seen as unlikely he will show up. In particular, the letter mentions Mulvaney's controversial press briefing on Oct. 17, in which he acknowledged the White House held up aid to Ukraine as it pressed for an investigation. “Despite your subsequent attempts to walk-back this clear admission, your statements to the American public on Oct. 17 were nothing less than a televised confession that President Trump’s order to freeze Ukraine security assistance was explicitly linked to Ukraine pursuing investigations as part of an effort to bolster the President's 2020 reelection campaign,” the letter states, per the Hill. Mulvaney maintains the media distorted his words. (More Trump impeachment stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.