U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland will now appear before the House committees probing impeachment next week, his attorney said on Friday morning.
He will not, however, turn over relevant documents to the committee.
“He respects the committees’ interest in reviewing all relevant materials; however, federal law and State Department regulations prohibit him from producing documents concerning his official responsibilities,” Sondland attorney Robert Luskin said in a statement. “Ambassador Sondland does not control the disposition of his documents. By federal law and regulation, the State Department has sole authority to produce such documents, and Ambassador Sondland hopes the materials will be shared with the Committees in advance of his Thursday testimony.”
Sondland will appear before the committees on Thursday, bucking the State Department’s initial directive to not testify as part of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
“After consultation with committee staff, his testimony is now scheduled for Thursday, October 17. Notwithstanding the State Department’s current direction to not testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the committees’ subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday,” Luskin said. “Ambassador Sondland has at all times acted with integrity and in the interests of the United States. He has no agenda apart from answering the Committees’ questions fully and truthfully.”
Sondland played a significant role in orchestrating various aspects of President Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden– the chain of events is at the center of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
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