As Democrats on Tuesday released transcripts from two more closed door depositions in their impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, a top U.S. diplomat revised his original testimony, saying he now recalls that Ukraine had been told that in order to get military aid from the United States, Ukraine's leader would have to publicly announce investigations desired by President Trump.
Gordon Sondland, the Ambassador to the European Union, submitted a new four page addition to his testimony in October, saying he now recalls that the U.S. was making the defense aid dependent on actions by the Ukraine government.
"I said that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks," Sondland wrote in his revisions.
"Soon thereafter, I came to understand that, in fact, the public statement would need to come directly from President Zelensky himself," Sondland added.
The investigations sought by President Trump would cover, 1) Hunter Biden/Joe Biden, and 2) the debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine – and not Russia – had hacked key Democratic staffers and the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
In his July 25 phone call with the new Ukraine leader, President Trump had brought up both of those subjects.
In his deposition testimony released on Tuesday, Sondland said his work with President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani became more and more complicated by demands from the White House.
"It kept - it kept getting more insidious as timeline went on," Sondland said.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.