Congress releases more damning impeachment inquiry testimony


The House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees have released the transcripts of testimony from U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine.

On Tuesday afternoon, a trio of House committees released the highly anticipated transcripts of two key impeachment inquiry witnesses: U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker.

Sondland amended his original testimony to say that he told a senior Ukrainian official that promised U.S. military aid would not arrive until Ukraine met Trump's demands for investigations, which appears to be the very quid pro quo Trump denied took place.

According to the transcript, Sondland, who was hand-picked by Trump for the ambassador role, testified in mid-October that the administration's demand that Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden was "improper." When asked if it was illegal, Sondland gave a blunt response.

"I'm not a lawyer, but I assume so."

During that hearing, Sondland also described Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani's demands that Ukraine investigate Biden as "insidious."

"It kept—it kept getting more insidious as [the] timeline went on," Sondland said.

Volker, too, lamented of Giuliani's involvement in Ukrainian policies as a "problem" during his testimony.

According to the transcript of Volker's deposition, the former special envoy described Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as "extremely unfortunate" because Ukraine policy was "getting sucked into a domestic political debate in the U.S."

These are the third and fourth impeachment inquiry transcripts to be released by the three committees leading the impeachment inquiry, the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees. On Monday, the committees released deposition transcripts from both former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and Michael McKinley, a former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The hearings so far have been mainly conducted behind closed doors, with committee members from both the Republican and Democratic sides present.

Read Sondland's full testimony here, and excerpts from his testimony below:

Gordon Sondland testimony (PDF)

Read Volker's full testimony here, and excerpts from his testimony below:

Kurt Volker testimony (PDF)

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.