US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, a key witness in the impeachment hearings, has been accused of sexual misconduct by three women. In a Portland Monthly and ProPublica report released a week after Sondland testified before the House Intelligence Committee, the women say the Oregon businessman made unwanted advances and retaliated against them professionally after he was rejected. The accusations span a seven-year period that ended years before Sondland became an ambassador. One accuser, Nicole Vogel, is the owner of Portland Monthly, but the magazine says she was not involved editorially in the report. She says Sondland, who is married, withdrew an offer to invest in the magazine in 2003 after she rebuffed his attempts to kiss her.
Another accuser, Nicole Solis, says Sondland exposed himself to her and forcibly tried to kiss her after asking her to evaluate his personal art collection. Sondland and his lawyers claim the report is politically motivated "underhanded journalism," the Guardian reports. "These untrue claims of unwanted touching and kissing are concocted and, I believe, coordinated for political purposes," Sondland said in a statement. "They have no basis in fact, and I categorically deny them." Sondland says he plans to pursue legal action against the two publications, reports the BBC. Last week, the ambassador testified that there was a "quid pro quo" involving the Trump administration's withholding of military aid to Ukraine. (Read more Gordon Sondland stories.)