President Donald Trump’s administration demanded US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland not to testify on Tuesday morning in the House’s impeachment inquiry.

Sondland’s attorney Robert Luskin said the order came from the State Department.

From Fox News:

An attorney for Sondland said the order not to appear came from the State Department. Attorney Robert Luskin said Sondland, who had previously agreed to appear voluntarily for a closed session, is required to follow the department’s direction. No reason for the direction was cited, he said.

Luskin said Sondland “is profoundly disappointed that he will not be able to testify.” His statement said: “Ambassador Sondland hopes that the issues raised by the State Department that preclude his testimony will be resolved promptly. He stands ready to testify on short notice, whenever he is permitted to appear.”

Sondland faced questioning from the chairpeople of three House committees, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight, behind closed doors.

Reuters reported the three representatives want to know why Sondland became involved with dealings with Ukraine since the country does not belong to the EU:

According to text messages released by House committee leaders last week, Sondland was heavily involved in contacts with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as he sought a meeting with Trump, and Ukrainian officials expressed concern at the administration’s decision to block nearly $400 million in U.S. military assistance for Kiev.

In one of the texts, for example, Sondland emphasized that Trump “really wants the deliverable.”

The Democrats and left have an obsession to impeach Trump over supposed threats of withholding aid to Ukraine if the country did not investigate Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Rumor has it that as vice president Biden promised to withhold aid to Ukraine if the government did not fire its prosecutor general over his investigation into Burisma Holdings. Hunter sat on the board of directors.

However, as many conservative outlets stressed, the transcript of the phone call with Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump did not threaten to withhold aid. Zelensky has confirmed no one pressured him into starting an investigation.

[Featured image via YouTube]


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