BREAKING: E.U. Ambassador: Trump pushed Giuliani to have Ukraine investigate his political opponents
Sondland casts blame directly on the president in the 18-page statement he plans to read to House lawmakers before answering their questions in the closed-door session. He also chastises his employer — the State Department — for trying to block his testimony.
Sondland to testify that Trump directed Giuliani to push Ukraine scheme
WASHINGTON — U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland will tell Congress on Thursday that Rudy Giuliani told him President Donald Trump wanted Ukraine’s new government to investigate both the 2016 election and a natural gas firm tied to Hunter Biden , according to prepared testimony obtained by NBC News .
Sondland will testify that Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, even mentioned getting the Ukrainians to investigate "the DNC server" — a reference to a Democratic National Committee computer that plays prominently in a debunked conspiracy theory about Ukrainian interference in 2016.
The ambassador is expected to tell House investigators that he ultimately learned that Giuliani, far from freelancing, was advancing Trump’s goals when he pushed for Ukraine to investigate the president’s political opponents .
"My understanding was that the president directed Mr. Giuliani’s participation, that Mr. Giuliani was expressing the concerns of the president," Sondland plans to say, according to the prepared testimony.
A key figure in the unfolding impeachment inquiry , Sondland had no diplomatic experience before Trump nominated him in 2017 to become ambassador to the E.U., a club of nations that does not include Ukraine. He was a wealthy hotelier who donated about $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee and refers to himself in his prepared testimony as a “lifelong Republican.”
Nonetheless, Sondland casts blame directly on the president in the 18-page statement he plans to read to House lawmakers before answering their questions in the closed-door session. He also chastises his employer — the State Department — for trying to block his testimony.