Transcript of Diplomat Reveals a Key Revision
Geoffrey Ignace mwijage
Nov. 05, 2019
Gordon Sondland now acknowledges threat to hold up aid unless Ukraine did investigation
(Newser) – The House panels conducting the impeachment inquiry released the testimony of two key players on Tuesday and sent word they want to hear from White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Axios sees a notable development in the transcript for Gordon Sondland, US ambassador to the European Union. Sondland testified on Oct. 17, but the transcript shows that he revised his testimony on Nov. 4. The key change: He said he told an aide to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that the nation would likely get no US aid until Zelensky committed publicly to investigate Hunter Biden. Initially, Sondland testified that he knew of no pressure tied to financial aid, though he acknowledged leveraging the prospect of a White House visit for Zelensky, reports the Washington Post . Another diplomat, William Taylor, cast doubt on Sondland's claim about that, however. Read Sondland's full transcript here via NPR .
The other deposition released was that of former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. Read it in full via NPR . As for Mulvaney, House Democrats leading the investigation wrote a letter asking him to appear for a deposition Friday, though it's seen as unlikely he will show up. In particular, the letter mentions Mulvaney's controversial press briefing on Oct. 17, in which he acknowledged the White House held up aid to Ukraine as it pressed for an investigation. “Despite your subsequent attempts to walk-back this clear admission, your statements to the American public on Oct. 17 were nothing less than a televised confession that President Trump’s order to freeze Ukraine security assistance was explicitly linked to Ukraine pursuing investigations as part of an effort to bolster the President's 2020 reelection campaign,” the letter states, per the Hill . Mulvaney maintains the media distorted his words. (Read more Trump impeachment stories.)