European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland is slated to give testimony Thursday to the House committees on President Donald Trump’s Ukraine scandal.
Sondland is slated to tell investigators that Trump gave him the impression that he and two other officials should coordinate with the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, The New York Times said in an explosive report Wednesday.
“That command effectively created a foreign policy back channel that cut the State Department and National Security Council out of deliberations involving a pivotal ally against Russia,” The Times reported.
Sondland was also expected to say that he began to understand by midsummer that the president “had a condition for agreeing to an Oval Office meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky.” The condition had to do with an announcement from Ukrainian prosecutors that might help Trump’s 2020 campaign.
“Initially hopeful that Mr. Sondland’s account would help Mr. Trump, congressional Republicans now fear it will add momentum to Democrats’ impeachment inquiry,” The Times said. “His decision to testify is itself a sign of fissures in the support for Mr. Trump, evidence that even some defenders have balked at shouldering the legal and reputational costs of thwarting the impeachment inquiry.”