Top Zelensky aide refutes Sondland testimony

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A top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is refuting U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon SondlandGordon SondlandGOP lawmaker criticizes Democratic counsel over facial expression: ‘Be very careful’ Live coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearing Schiff: Impeachment testimony shows Trump ‘doesn’t give a shit’ about what’s good for the country MORE‘s testimony in the impeachment trial against President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence MORE.

Sondland last month testified before a House committee that he told Zelensky’s aide that the U.S. would not resume foreign aid until the country announced two investigations into Trump political rivals; however, the aide, Andriy Yermak, told Time in an interview published Tuesday that the conversation never happened.

“Gordon and I were never alone together,” Yermak told Time.

“We bumped into each other in the hallway next to the escalator, as I was walking out,” he continued, adding that several members of the American and Ukrainian delegations, bodyguards and hotel staff were nearby. “And I remember – everything is fine with my memory – we talked about how well the meeting went. That’s all we talked about.”

Yermak told Time that no U.S. officials, including congressional committees overseeing the impeachment inquiry, have contacted him to seek testimony.

During his public hearing, Sondland testified that he told Yermak: “I believed the resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine took some kind of action on the public statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”

Trump’s alleged withholding of foreign aid in return for an announcement of an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGabbard says she won’t participate in next debate even if she qualifies House Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment Tuesday FBI head rejects claims of Ukrainian 2016 interference MORE and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings, is at the center of the House’s impeachment probe.

House Democrats revealed two articles of impeachment against Trump Tuesday after weeks of public testimony from officials, including Sondland, who testified about Trump’s communications with Ukraine.

Sondland’s lawyer told Time in a statement that the ambassador “stands by his prior testimony and will not comment further.”

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