WASHINGTON, DC — In the most anticipated hearing of the public House impeachment inquiry into President Trump to date, Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, has testified that quid pro quo did occur between the United States and Ukraine.
“Fourth, as I testified previously, Giuliani’s requests were quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelensky,” he said. “Mr. Giuliani demanded that Ukraine make a public statement announcing investigations of the 2016 election/DNC server and Burisma. Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the United States, and we kew these investigations were important to the president.”
The distinction needs to be made, though, that Sondland also testified that he never heard President Trump explicitly direct for the quid pro quo.
Trump recently released a response to Sondland’s testimony through the White House’s twitter page.
Sondland also stated that “everyone” was aware of the quid pro quo, and he indicated that included White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Pence.
Rudy Giuliani, who has been a central figure in Sondland’s testimony, also took to twitter to push back against Republican lawyer Stephen R. Castor, who asked a long list of questions in Wednesday’s hearing.
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Sondland’s testimony stretched out until nearly 4 p.m. Wednesday, after it started at 9 a.m. and was scheduled to finish closer to 2 p.m.
Laura K. Cooper, a deputy assistant defense secretary, and David Hale, the under secretary of state for political affairs, will testify together in the afternoon session.
Sondland kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo apprised of his efforts to pressure Ukraine’s leaders to commit publicly to investigations Trump wanted, two people briefed on the matter told The New York Times in a story published Wednesday.