USA TODAY: Democrats to subpoena Gordon Sondland, key player in Ukraine controversy, after Trump blocks impeachment testimony
Washington, October 8, 2019
Democrats to subpoena Gordon Sondland, key player in Ukraine controversy, after Trump blocks impeachment testimony
BY DEIRDRE SHESGREEN & CHRISTAL HAYES - 10/08/2019
House Democrats said Tuesday they would subpoena Gordon Sondland, a U.S. ambassador involved in the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine, after the State Department blocked his appearance before their impeachment inquiry.
Sondland, President Donald Trump's ambassador to the European Union, was scheduled to appear before a trio of committees Tuesday morning to answer questions about his role in pushing Ukraine's president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
"Early this morning, the U.S. Department of State directed Ambassador Gordon Sondland not to appear today for his scheduled transcribed interview before the U.S. House of Representatives Joint Committee," Robert Luskin, Sondland's attorney, said.
Luskin said Sondland had agreed "to appear voluntarily ... in order to answer the committee’s questions on an expedited basis." But as a sitting U.S. ambassador, he is required to follow the State Department’s directive, Luskin said.
"This is obstruction," tweeted Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va. "Sondland is a key witness to the President’s attempts to seek campaign interference from Ukraine. The President is obviously terrified of what Sondland might tell Congress. What else is the President hiding from the American people? This will not end here."