Sondland, named by Trump the Ambassador to the European Union in 2018, has emerged as a key player in the Ukrainian controversy, which has led Democrats in the House to launch impeachment proceedings.
In a Friday morning statement, an attorney for Sondland said, "Notwithstanding the State Department's current direction not to testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the Committees' subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday".
If confirmed by the Senate, Sullivan would be the top USA diplomat in Russian Federation at a particularly challenging time for Trump's presidency, which is facing an impeachment inquiry after Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his domestic political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. "He has no agenda apart from answering the Committees' questions fully and truthfully", it said. The whistleblower accused the president of leveraging his office and withholding US aid to Ukraine to obtain "dirt" on a political opponent-2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
According to the indictment, the two Florida businessmen pressured former Texas Republican Congressmember Pete Sessions to push for the ouster of the US ambassador to Ukraine, while simultaneously funding his campaign.
The former ambassador said she could only recall contact with Giuliani on three occasions, none of which had anything to do with the matters under investigation.
Trump continues to maintain that his July 25 phone call with Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskiy-which prompted the impeachment inquiry- was innocuous. She is also expected to be asked about the circumstances that led to her own ouster.
Sondland, a Trump political donor who contributed $1 million USA to the Republican president's inauguration committee, exchanged text messages about Washington's relationship with Ukraine with other top diplomats.
Meanwhile, Trump defended his call, saying that his request for Ukraine's assistance to look into Biden's dealings was meant to investigate alleged corruption, not to look for information on a political opponent. The Democrats are investigating Trump's dealings with the Ukrainian president. A trial on whether to remove him from office would then be held in the U.S. Senate, where the Republicans who control the chamber have shown little appetite for ousting the president.
In her written deposition to Congress, Yovanovitch gave a description of the events surrounding her surprise removal from her post in Kyiv, weeks after having been told in March that the state department wanted her to extend her posting till 2020. But in her prepared remarks, obtained by Fox News, she denied asking any Ukrainian official to refrain from investigating corruption, and said it was "fictitious" that she was disloyal to the president.
The decision to dismiss her several months earlier reportedly followed the U.S. president's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and other conservatives arguing she was biased against the president. "It is a very bad situation for our country", Trump said to reporters on the White House South Lawn before boarding the Marine One helicopter. 'She's going to go through some things, ' Trump added.
Giuliani told Reuters last week he had provided information to both Trump and the State Department about Yovanovitch, who he suggested was biased against Trump.