UPDATED 10:26 AM PT — Wednesday, November 20, 2019
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland said everyone was in the loop regarding the Trump administration’s anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine. During his hearing Wednesday, he testified that at the time he did not think Burisma and the Bidens were connected. This corroborates U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker’s statement from Tuesday.
Sondland said President Trump did not really want a Biden investigation, just the announcement of an investigation. He also said the president never mentioned the Bidens, only Burisma. The ambassador added that he and the Ukraine diplomats did not think they were doing anything wrong, and there was no so-called “shadow foreign policy.”
“Precisely because we did not think that we were engaging in improper behavior, we made every effort to ensure that the relevant decision-makers at the National Security Council and State Department knew the important details of our efforts,” he stated. “The suggestion that we were engaged in some irregular or rogue diplomacy is absolutely false.”
Sondland also said he never heard from President Trump that U.S. military aid was conditioned on public announcements of investigations.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 20, 2019
Meanwhile, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) said ambassador Sondland is “drawing his own conclusions” about relations with Ukraine without any direct evidence. In a tweet Wednesday, The Arizona lawmaker said Sondland never knew why the Trump administration decided to withhold foreign aid to Ukraine, noting that his presumptions that there was quid pro quo relies on a call and meeting between President Trump and Ukraine President Zelensky
Seperately, Biggs wrote that Sondland is not showing that President Trump committed any impeachable offense and stressed that he never heard from President Trump that Ukraine aid was conditioned.
Sondland never knew why there had been a hold on foreign aid to Ukraine. For him, it was all about a call and meeting between President Trump and President Zelensky.
It’s important to point out that Sondland is drawing his own conclusions without direct evidence.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) November 20, 2019