Trump impeachment hearings to go public next week

US envoy Gordon Sondland reverses impeachment testimony, says he knew of Ukraine quid pro quo

Trump acolyte Gordon Sondland reverses testimony in impeachment inquiry

Sondland, the USA ambassador to the European Union, who initially testified in October to the Democratic-led congressional inquiry, offered new details to lawmakers on Monday (4 November) after his memory was "refreshed".

The three committees that have been leading the investigation are wrapping up the closed-door testimony this week. According to the transcript released Tuesday, Volker said, "I don't recall ever hearing that the president was interested in investigating Burisma".

Earlier Wednesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced that the first round of public, televised hearings will begin next Wednesday.

Taylor's testimony provided a damning account of how Trump told his appointees to establish a quid pro quo with Ukraine, trading much-needed U.S. military assistance for political favors from Zelensky.

The White House said the Sondland transcript undermined the impeachment inquiry.

Democrats have accused Trump of abusing his office by pressuring a foreign government to investigate a political rival by threatening to withhold already approved military aid.

The Trump camp says the Home impeachment probe is all a part of the left's long-running "witch hunt" in opposition to the president - and is promoting "Stop the Witch Hunt" shirts for $30 a pop.

Notably, Graham said in September that he might support impeachment if there was evidence of a quid pro quo beyond the White House's memo on Trump's July call with Zelensky.

"I observed that, in order to move forward on the security assistance, the Ukrainians were told by Ambassador Sondland that they had to pursue these investigations", he said.

Taylor has provided some of the most damaging testimony to date, telling lawmakers on October 22 that Trump made the release of almost $400 million in security aid to Ukraine contingent on Kiev publicly declaring it would carry out politically motivated investigations demanded by Trump against former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

"He just kept saying: talk to Rudy, talk to Rudy", Sondland said of a May meeting with Trump on Ukraine.

The State Department's third-ranking official is expected to tell Congress that political considerations were behind the agency's refusal to deliver a robust defence of the former US ambassador to Ukraine.

Democrats hope Hale can shed more light on the removal of Marie Yovanovitch as USA ambassador to Ukraine after she became the target of false rumors questioning her loyalty to Trump. The security aid was approved by Congress to help Ukraine curb Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will officially join the White House fight against Democrat impeachment efforts.

Senate Republicans have so far shown little appetite for ousting the president.

"I'm told no", the White House counselor told reporters when asked if Mulvaney plans to appear.

Trump's July 25 call with Ukraine's president in which Trump pressed for a public investigation into Ukrainian activities by Democrats sparked the impeachment inquiry.

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However, in the revised testimony, Sondland said he recalled a September conversation in Warsaw with, as The Oregonian wrote, "a top Ukrainian adviser, Andriy Yermak, in which he made it clear that USA aid was tied to a statement from the Ukrainians".

The marketing campaign couldn't instantly say how most of the items they'd bought.

In the transcripts and accompanying cache of text messages, United States diplomats are shown trying to navigate the demands of Mr Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who they soon learn is running a back-channel U.S. foreign policy on Ukraine.

The more evidence that accumulates of Ukrainians being told to investigate the Bidens if they wanted US aid, the greater the chance that Sondland and Giuliani will be portrayed as freelancers pursuing a misbegotten idea of what Trump wanted.

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