Key Donald Trump impeachment witness changes testimony over Ukraine 'quid pro quo'
Nov 07 2019
He did tell the House that "Giuliani did" demand investigations that would have helped Trump. The testimony also corroborated other witnesses who said Trump sought to pressure the Ukrainians into conducting investigations that appeared to be aimed at helping his re-election campaign.
Joe Biden is a leading contender for the Democratic Party nomination to run against Trump in the November 2020 election.
Sondland said he told a Ukrainian presidential adviser that " resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks".
"Your failure or refusal to appear at the deposition, including at the direction or behest of the president, shall constitute further evidence of obstruction of the House's impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the President".
Gordon Sondland has acknowledged what Democrats in the House of Representatives contend was a clear quid pro quo, pushed by Mr Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, with Ukraine.
"No amount of salacious media-biased headlines, which are clearly created to influence the narrative, change the fact that the president has done nothing wrong", Grisham said in a statement.
Sondland, a major Trump donor, testified on October 17.
"I now recall speaking individually with (Ukrainian go-between) Mr Yermak, where I said resumption of United States aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks", Mr Sondland said. Sondland has said he did not realise early on that the investigation was meant to target the Bidens.
"I now recall speaking individually with Mr. Yermak [at the meeting], where I said that resumption of USA aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks", Sondland said in his revised testimony.
In his revised testimony, Sondland says his memory was refreshed by the opening statements of two other key witnesses who have testified in the impeachment inquiry.
Strongly backed by his fellow Republicans in Congress, Trump has denied wrongdoing and accused Democrats of unfairly targeting him in the hope of reversing his surprise victory in the 2016 presidential election.
Democrats accuse Trump of misusing taxpayer dollars destined for a vulnerable United States ally for personal political gain.
Public hearings could begin as soon as next week in the impeachment inquiry that Trump says is illegitimate and Republicans in Congress call a sham. "I want Zelenskiy to do the right thing".
Tuesday's will be the second public release of testimony in the impeachment investigation of Trump that Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally launched on September 24.
Sondland said that he spoke to Andriy Yermak, a top adviser to Zelensky, on September 1 while Zelensky was meeting with Vice President Mike Pence in Warsaw. The diplomat said, "I wouldn't say he hung up me, but it was nearly like he hung up on me". He also said he wanted to provide testimony "with as much candor and integrity as I possibly could".
"The investigation has revealed that you may have been directly involved in an effort orchestrated by President Trump, his personal agent, Rudolph Giuliani and others to withhold a coveted White House meeting and almost $400 million ($580 million AUD) in security assistance in order to pressure (Ukraine) to pursue investigations that would benefit President Trump's personal political interests", they wrote.