Gordon Sondland agrees to appear at impeachment inquiry under subpoena

Marie Yovanovitch

Enlarge Image Marie Yovanovitch AP

The chairmen said efforts by the Trump administration "will be deemed obstruction" in their impeachment inquiry.

The former USA ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, spoke in a closed-door testimony to three House committees Friday.

Marie Yovanovitch said she was "incredulous" at being dismissed by President Donald Trump in May.

"Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the President, I was nevertheless incredulous that the USA government chose to remove an Ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives", Yovanovitch wrote.

The investigation of Trump could lead to the approval of articles of impeachment - or formal charges - against the president in the House.

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The statement was released Friday, shortly before on the same morning that the former US ambassador in Kiev, Marie Yovanovitch, testify about what she knows of the Trump administration's pressure effort on Ukraine.

Sondland's decision to testify marks a 180-degree shift from earlier this week, when he declined to do so.

Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, along with two of his associates, Ukrainian-born Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were arrested this week for campaign finance violations, worked to gain dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, and convince the Ukrainian government to investigate them. Add Impeachment Inquiry as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Impeachment Inquiry news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, will testify before the committees leading an impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump, his lawyers said on Friday, after the Trump administration had earlier blocked his appearance.

Meanwhile, Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, will comply with a House subpoena and testify October 18 before the committees, his lawyers said.

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They go on to say Sondland has no agenda and will answer questions fully and truthfully. Sondland's attorney, Robert Luskin, said at the time that his client was directed by the U.S. State Department to not appear for his scheduled meeting in Congress.

His lawyers say he also has been ordered to produce "relevant documents" but he won't be bringing documents with him. He noted scheduled depositions with Fiona Hill, who left the National Security Council in August, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, State Department Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, and Amb.

The joint House committee issued the subpoena for Sondland's testimony on Wednesday.

In a September 9 exchange, Bill Taylor, a senior USA diplomat in Ukraine, told Sondland: "I think it's insane to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign".

Yovanovitch was removed from her post after insisting that Giuliani's requests to Ukrainian officials for investigations be relayed through official channels, according to a former diplomat who has spoken with her. Trump said earlier this week that he would block all officials from testifying, saying the probe was unfair and "illegitimate".

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Sondland's attorney, Robert Luskin, said his client was "profoundly disappointed" that he wouldn't be able to testify. The letter comes the same day that Trump intensified his fight with Congress by blocking Gordon Sondland , the U.S.


CNBC reported on the text messages that connect Sondland to Trump's call with the Ukrainian president where the president spoke about efforts to investigate corruption in the country, including Hunter Biden's controversial involvement with an energy conglomerate while Joe Biden was vice president.

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