Gordon Sondland, a key witness in the impeachment inquiry, revealed that he told a top Ukrainian official that hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid would “likely” be held up unless the country’s government announced investigations into President Donald Trump’s political rivals — a major reversal from his previous closed-door testimony.
The acknowledgment of a quid pro quo is an explosive shift that threatens to upend claims by the president’s allies that military aid was not used as a bludgeon to advance his domestic political interests.
In his revised testimony, released Tuesday by House impeachment investigators, Sondland said that during a Sept. 1 meeting in Warsaw, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky raised his concerns directly to Vice President Mike Pence about the suspension of military aid.
Sondland, Trump’s ambassador to the European Union, added that he later told Andriy Yermak, a top Ukrainian national security adviser, that the aid would be contingent on Trump’s desired investigations. [Continue reading…]