U.S. ambassador to EU testifies in Trump impeachment hearings
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland told lawmakers on November 20, 2019, that President Donald Trump expressly ordered him and others to help pressure Ukraine into investigating a political rival of the president, providing some of...more
In remarks that also put Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the center of the Ukraine controversy, Sondland said Pompeo was "fully supportive" of the efforts to push Ukraine into carrying out two investigations that would benefit Trump politically at...more
Sondland, a wealthy hotel entrepreneur and Trump donor, said he worked with Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine issues on "the president's orders," further detailing Trump's active participation in a controversy that threatens his...more
Giuliani's efforts earlier this year to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son "were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit" for the Ukrainian leader, Sondland...more
The ambassador testified that he told Vice President Mike Pence in September that U.S. security aid to Ukraine had been stalled apparently because of Trump's demand for the investigations. Doug Mills/Pool via REUTERS
Trump (pictured holding what appears to be a prepared statement and handwritten notes as he speaks to reporters prior to departing for travel to Austin, Texas from the White House) has said he did nothing wrong and specifically denied any quid pro...more
"Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the president of the United States," Sondland told the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, which is spearheading the...more
"We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt. We all understood that if we refused to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and...more
The committee's top Republican, Devin Nunes (L), accused Democrats of waging an "impeachment crusade" against Trump. "They know exactly what kind of damage they're inflicting on this nation. But they've passed the point of no return," Nunes...more
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called Sondland's testimony "a very important moment in the history of this inquiry." "It goes right to the heart of the issue of bribery as well as other potential high crimes and misdemeanors,"...more
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney pressed Sondland aggressively: "Who would benefit from an investigations of the Bidens?" "I assume President Trump would benefit," Sondland said after repeated questioning. "You've been very forthright? This is your third...more
Sondland's testimony cast more light on the role of Pompeo, a close Trump ally who has declined to defend State Department witnesses who have been attacked by Trump and other Republicans for cooperating with the impeachment inquiry. Sondland...more
Sondland never told Pompeo he believed Trump was linking Ukraine aid to investigations of political opponents, a State Department spokeswoman said. "Any suggestion to the contrary is flat out false," spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a...more
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff listens next to ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes. REUTERS/Yara Nardi/Pool
Republican attorney Steve Castor asked Sondland, seen speaking with his lawyer Robert Luskin, if Trump ever told him of preconditions for aid or a White House meeting. Sondland said, "No .... Personally, no." REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Rep. Eric Swalwell: "Ambassador Sondland, you were told by the president and others to not show up. You showed up. I think that says a lot about you, and I think history will look kindly on you doing that." Samuel Corum/Pool via Reuters
Asked about testimony from another State Department official that Sondland had told Trump in a July 26 phone call that Zelenskiy "loves your ass," Sondland suggested he and Trump had an easy-going relationship. "It sounds like something I would say....more
Rep. Michael Turner: "This is part of the problem, Ambassador Sondland. And I just want to walk you through this. You've said to us 'everyone was in the loop'. Now hold on a second. I've listened to you today, as (have) a lot of people, and not only...more
Ranking member Devin Nunes walks past a sign placed by Republican committee staff. REUTERS/Yara Nardi/Pool
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff: "When the president said 'investigation,' he meant 'Biden.' He made that abundantly clear ... The question is not what the president meant. The question is not whether he was responsible for holding up the aid...more
Gordon Sondland confers with his lawyer Robert Luskin while testifying. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
At the opening of a second hearing, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper (seen with Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale) testified that Ukrainian officials may have known that Washington was withholding military...more
Cooper said Ukrainian officials had known in July about the holdup in the security aid, which was new information she had not had when she was interviewed behind closed doors on Oct. 23. Erik S. Lesser/Pool via REUTERS
Cooper said her staff received an email on July 25, the day of the Trump-Zelenskiy call, from the State Department saying that Ukraine's embassy and the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee were asking about security...more
Cooper also said some of her staff had met with officials from the Ukrainian embassy during the week of Aug. 6 and that they had raised the issue of the aid. Cooper also said she had never discussed a hold on security assistance for Ukraine with...more
Representative Jim Jordan yawns during testimony by Laura Cooper and David Hale. Defending Trump in the inquiry, some Republicans have sought to minimize the impact of the White House decision to withhold the military aid by saying Ukraine was only...more
People watch from the public viewing gallery as Laura Cooper and David Hale testify. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool
Images from along the line of contact between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian troops in eastern Ukraine.
The last band of anti-government protesters trapped inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University are weighing a narrowing range of options of escape as police...
Scenes of fall foliage around the world.
Senior U.S. officials told impeachment investigators in Congress on the third day of public impeachment hearings they were concerned by President Donald Trump's...