President Donald Trump’s Ambassador to the European Union is testifying behind closed door to congressional impeachment investigators and has just delivered a devastating indictment of the president. Ambassador Gordon Sondland says President Trump ordered him to work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, on Ukraine.
“He directed those of us present at the meeting to talk to Mr. Giuliani, his personal attorney, about his concerns,” Ambassador Sondland said, according to The Washington Post. “It was apparent to all of us that the key to changing the president’s mind on Ukraine was Mr. Giuliani.”
Sondland added that it was not “until much later that Mr. Giuliani’s agenda might have also included an effort to prompt the Ukrainians to investigate Vice President Biden or his son or to involve Ukrainians, directly or indirectly, in the president’s 2020 reelection campaign.”
Vice News’ Cameron Joseph adds that “Sondland, in prepared opening statement, says Trump directed him, Volker and Perry to work with Giuliani on Ukraine corruption in late May.” Volker is former United States special representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker. Perry is Trump’s Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
CNN adds, from Sondland’s prepared remarks that he “will testify that Trump put on hold effort to strengthen relations with Ukraine until top US officials were in contact with Giuliani, who had been pursuing investigation into the Bidens and 2016 elections.”
But one expert is poking holes in Sondland’s claims of innocence.
Matthew Miller, a former Dept. of Justice top spokesperson:
About Sondland's claim that he didn't realize on May 23 that what Giuliani and Trump were really after was a Ukrain… https://t.co/4hvk1qy2qP— Matthew Miller (@Matthew Miller)1571320324.0