According to the Associated Press, a source is saying that a second US embassy official overheard President Trump’s call with Sondland regarding Ukraine moving forward with investigating Trump’s political rivals.
Suriya Jayanti was also at the table during Trump’s call and was identified by anonymous source who spoke to the AP. Jayanti is a foreign service officer who is based in Kyiv.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.
Bill Taylor, the president’s top diplomat in Ukraine, testified Wednesday that he learned last week from a staffer, after he was deposed in a closed-door hearing, about an incident that took place a day after Trump’s call to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Last Friday, a member of my staff told me of events that occurred on July 26,” Taylor testified.
Taylor was visiting the front of Ukraine’s war with Russia at the time with Kurt Volker, then a special envoy to the country, and a member of the ambassador’s staff accompanied EU ambassador Gordon Sondland to a meeting with Andrey Yermak, an aide to Zelensky.
“Following that meeting, in the presence of my staff at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv,” Taylor testified. “The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about ‘the investigations.'”
“Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward,” Taylor added.
Taylor’s staff member asked Sondland what the president thought about Ukraine, and the acting ambassador was troubled by his State Department colleague’s response.
“Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for,” Taylor testified. “At the time I gave my deposition on October 22, I was not aware of this information. I am including it here for completeness.”
Taylor said he first reported that new information through the State Department’s legal adviser, and then through attorneys for both House Republicans and Democrats.
With additional reporting from Travis Gettys.
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