President Donald Trump on Tuesday called the House’s impeachment inquiry into his actions as president a “kangaroo court.” That, Trump said, justified the State Department’s move to block the ambassador to the European Union from testifying to Congress.
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s attorney said earlier Tuesday that the State Department had ordered Sondland not to testify to the committees leading the impeachment inquiry.
Trump, in his tweets, implied the order had come from him.
….to see. Importantly, Ambassador Sondland’s tweet, which few report, stated, “I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind.” That says it ALL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2019
Sondland was one of a handful of diplomats who participated in a text message exchange subsequently handed over to Congress in which they discussed quid pro quos involving the Trump administration and the new Ukrainian president.
Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July, in which Trump pressured Zelensky to pursue dirt on Trump’s political opponents, spurred the House’s impeachment inquiry.
Sonland told Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) in August, the senator later recalled, that Trump wanted Ukraine to take particular actions before he would release military aid.
“Get to the bottom of what happened in 2016—if President Trump has that confidence, then he’ll release the military spending,” Johnson recalled Sondland telling him.