• Friday, Nov 22, 2019
  • Last Update : 06:17 pm

US ambassador to EU to testify on Thursday

  • Published at 02:04 am October 12th, 2019
US-Ambassador-EU-Gordon-Sondland
US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland poses at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, June 4, 2019 Reuters

Sondland was initially scheduled to testify before the House committees on Tuesday and had flown from Brussels to do so, but was blocked by the Trump administration from appearing

Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, will testify before the committees leading an impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump on October 17, his lawyers said yesterday, complying with House Democrats' subpoena.

Sondland was initially scheduled to testify before the House committees on Tuesday and had flown from Brussels to do so, but was blocked by the Trump administration from appearing.

"Notwithstanding the State Department's current direction to not testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the Committees' subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday," his lawyers, Robert Luskin and Kwame Manley, said in a statement.

But Sondland is not authorized to release the documents the House committees have sought, his lawyers said, adding that Sondland hopes the material will be shared with the committees before his Thursday appearance.

House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry to investigate Trump after a US intelligence official filed a whistleblower's complaint about a July 25 call between the US president and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

In the call, Trump pressed Zelenskiy to investigate his political rival Joe Biden, a former US vice president and a leading candidate seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

The whistleblower's complaint also raised concerns about the classification of the July 25 call and other calls between Trump and foreign leaders.

Sondland, a Trump political donor, participated in text messages about Washington's relationship with Ukraine with other top diplomats. House Democrats received a cache of the texts as part of their impeachment inquiry.

The White House has said it would not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, which it says is illegitimate and constitutional.