Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland confirmed to House impeachment investigators during his testimony on October 17 that there was a quid pro quo in President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, according to Sondland’s lawyer.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday night that the lawyer, Robert Luskin, had told the outlet his client had answered in the affirmative when a House member asked if Trump’s demand that Ukraine investigate 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden and Ukraine’s alleged election interference in 2016 in exchange for a White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky amounted to quid pro quo.
Luskin said that in Sondland’s response to the question, the ambassador “cautioned that he wasn’t a lawyer but said he believed the answer was yes,” in the Wall Street Journal’s words.
Luskin also told the Wall Street Journal that Sondland is open to giving another testimony in the impeachment inquiry if investigators request for him to do so.
Acting Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor testified last week that Sondland had told him the nearly $400 million in congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine had been held up over Trump’s demand that Zelensky publicly announce an investigation into his 2020 rival Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
Sondland had justified Trump’s actions by comparing the situation to a business deal, according to Taylor. After Taylor told Sondland it was “crazy” to hold up the aid in exchange for political assistance, Sondland texted Taylor, “I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind.”