Saturday, 07 December, 2019

2nd US Official Heard Trump Call with Sondland

Bill Taylor Overheard Phone Call’ Raises Questions About Classified Info Privilege 3,726Andrew Caballero Reynolds AFP Getty Joel B. Pollak13 Nov 2019
Travis Berry | 16 November, 2019, 00:30

Ukrainian foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko said Thursday that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland "never" linked aid to Ukrainian investigations into the 2016 elections or former Vice President Joe Biden, which are allegations at the center of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump. The story quoted the foreign minister, saying "I have never seen a direct link between investigations and security assistance". "This just should not happen", he said.

On Wednesday, William Taylor, the top USA diplomat in Ukraine, testified for hours before US lawmakers as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Sondland last week amended his testimony after other witnesses 'refreshed my recollection about conversations involving the suspension of US aid.' He now claims that Trump's actions in Ukraine likely amounted to a quid pro quo. Trump on Wednesday said he did not recall the alleged July 26 phone call with Sondland.

Yovanovitch, who was removed from her post in Ukraine in early May, testified that she was the victim of a smear campaign led by Rudy Giuliani and "foreign corrupt interests" in Ukraine, one that left her reputation tarnished after a career of public service that has spanned over three decades.

"Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward", he testified, adding that he understood the "investigations" to refer to Trump's demand for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and a non-existent Democratic National Committee server.

Alex Trebek chokes up on ‘Jeopardy!’ after contestant’s heartfelt message
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Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent answered questions for several hours from Democrats and Republicans Wednesday in the first of several public impeachment hearings that are scheduled. He said Trump indicated there was no quid quo pro, but later submitted updated answers to his testimony that said he believes the Trump administration held back the military aid to pressure Ukraine into launching the Biden probe.

A transcript of their July 25 phone call shows that Trump asked President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son's business dealings in Ukraine.

Sondland will return to Capitol Hill next week for public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, one of eight witnesses to appear next week.

'Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine, ' Taylor claimed.

Taylor testified that a member of his staff last Friday told him that on July 26 there was a meeting between Sondland and President Zelensky's aide Andrey Yermak. It was also reported, however, that Sondland spoke to Trump after Taylor texted him about that subject and before he responded.

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