A USA ambassador is expected to tell Congress that his text message reassuring another envoy that there was no quid pro quo in their interactions with Ukraine was based exclusively on what President Donald Trump told him.
Gordon Sondland, Trump's hand-picked ambassador to the European Union, is among administration officials being subpoenaed to appear on Capitol Hill this week against the wishes of the White House. Gaetz is not a member of any of the three House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry, and Gaetz told reporters that the House parliamentarian said he couldn't attend. On Monday, the House panels leading the investigation expect to hear from Fiona Hill, a former top National Security Council expert on Russian Federation.
Donald Trump has repeatedly pushed for the unmasking of the unidentified author of a complaint that said Trump may have abused his power on the call by urging Ukraine to dig up dirt on his political rival Joe Biden. One witness who may not be called before Congress is the still anonymous government whistleblower who touched off the impeachment inquiry.
Democrats want to "identify other evidence" regarding Trump's decision to freeze almost $400 million in funds for the aid, according to Schiff.
"We're going to take a look at it". As talks continue over whether the whistleblower from within the US intelligence community who prompted the inquiry will testify, the president weighed in on Twitter, demanding that the person testify and that the individual's identity be revealed. "Our primary interest right now is making sure that person is protected", he said. Her appearance in spite of the White House, and the fact that it is the "illegitimate" impeachment probe. Both Yovanovitch and Hill received subpoenas the mornings of their testimony. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has resisted those efforts and is unlikely to budge as Congress returns.
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"I am at 94 percent approval rating, but still you have people out there who don't get it, they don't get it", he said, also suggesting that the Republican Party did not stick together as well as the Democrats. "And sue Nancy Pelosi", Trump said, "Or maybe we should just impeach them, because they're lying and what they're doing is a awful thing for our country".
Hill also told lawmakers that she was not part of Trump's July call with Zelensky.
Republicans called on Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, to release transcripts of the depositions to the public.
Trump's request echoed reporting by The New York Times, The Hill, and investigative journalist Peter Schweizer, which questioned Hunter Biden's position on the board of directors of a major Ukrainian gas firm, Burisma. Sondland understood the discussions about combating corruption to be part of a much broader and publicized Trump administration push that was widely shared, the person said. Democrats have nonetheless alleged, without evidence, that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Zelensky. Sondland and Trump "were in direct contact", Hill told the lawmakers, according to the source. A plain reading of the transcript shows no obvious evidence of a quid pro quo.
A person familiar with the testimony says Sondland is expected to tell Congress his text message reassuring another envoy there was no quid pro quo in their interactions with Ukraine was based exclusively on what he was told by Trump, who denies doing anything wrong.