Pence denies claim in Sondland testimony about aid meeting

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Vice President Mike Pence denied a claim by Ambassador Gordon Sondland that Sondland discussed Ukraine aid conditioned on an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden and his efforts to oust a prosecutor targeting Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings.

“The vice president never had a conversation with Gordon Sondland about investigating the Bidens, Burisma, or the conditional release of financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations,” Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, said Wednesday moments after Sondland’s testimony. “This alleged discussion recalled by Ambassador Sondland never happened.”

Sondland told lawmakers in a public hearing before the House Intelligence Committee that he discussed the matter with Pence in a Sept. 1 meeting that took place in Poland.

[Read more: ‘Should not have been delayed’: Gordon Sondland regrets Ukraine security aid quid pro pro]

Short said Sondland “was never alone” with Pence during the trip and added other witnesses who have testified during the impeachment proceedings said Biden never raised the investigations President Trump wanted Ukraine to undertake involving the former vice president or the effort by 2016 Democrats to dig up dirt on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Sondland told lawmakers he brought up the investigation request and the suspended security aid in his meeting with Pence and that Pence did not say anything in response to the comment.

Security aid to Ukraine was delayed for 55 days. It was released on Sept. 11.

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