European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland is directly implicating both President Donald Trump and attorney Rudy Giuliani in running a “quid pro quo” scheme to condition a face-to-face meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on launching an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden.
The Daily Beast has obtained excerpts of Sondland’s opening statement that show the EU ambassador will make clear in his testimony on Wednesday that Giuliani wanted a quid pro quo with Ukraine — and that he was pushing for it with Trump’s encouragement.
“Mr. Giuliani’s requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelensky,” the statement says. “Mr. Giuliani demanded that Ukraine make a public statement announcing investigations of the 2016 election/DNC server and Burisma. Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the President of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the President.”
Sondland will also testify that he “shared concerns of the potential quid pro quo regarding the security aid” with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) last summer.
Additionally, Sondland will say that he was reluctant to work with Giuliani but that he did so because he feared refusing would permanently poison relations between Trump and the Ukrainian government.
“We all understood that if we refused to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine,” the testimony states. “So we followed the President’s orders.”