Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland said in his opening statement to House impeachment investigators that he raised concerns about a “quid pro quo” that tied a White house visit for Ukraine’s president to investigations President Trump wanted into Joe Biden and his son and the 2016 election.
Sondland also said he came to understand that $391 million in military aid was also linked to the probes into the Bidens and the 2016 election, according to the statement.
Sondland said that the actions he took were on orders from Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
“Mr. Giuliani’s requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelensky. 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,” he said in the statement, referring to the energy giant that hired Hunter Biden.
He also said that he had no choice but to work with Giuliani.
“Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the President of the United States,” he said, referring to diplomat Kurt Volker and Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
“We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt. 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. So we followed the President’s orders.”
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