President Donald Trump’s administration today blocked the U.S. ambassador to the European Union from giving testimony in the House of Representatives’ impeachment investigation of the Republican president.
Gordon Sondland, a Trump Donor who started his diplomatic job in July, was due to meet behind closed doors with staff of three Democratic-led House committees over the role he may have played in the president’s efforts to get Ukraine to probe former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival.
Sondland had apparently agreed to testify without a subpoena. Through his lawyer, he said he hoped the issues raised by the State Department that preclude his testimony will be resolved promptly.
Sondland’s lawyer, Robert Luskin, said in a statement that Sondland stands ready to testify on short notice, whenever he is permitted to appear.
Representatives for the White House and the State Department could not be immediately reached to comment.
The impeachment probe is focusing on a whistleblower’s allegations that Trump used U.S. military aid to secure a promise from Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and his son Hunter, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm.