Impeachment watch: Trump ambassador amends testimony to confirm quid pro quo

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Gordon Sondland says after he 'refreshed' his memory, he realized there was an explicit quid pro quo.

The House released more transcripts Tuesday from its impeachment inquiry, and none of them brought good news for Donald Trump.

A transcript of a deposition with Gordon Sondland, a Trump donor turned United States ambassador to the European Union, revealed that Trump was explicitly demanding Ukraine investigate his political rivals in order to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that Ukraine was promised.

Sondland told House investigators of the quid pro quo in amended testimony. Sondland said he remembered the quid pro quo existed after more witnesses testified and his memory was "refreshed."

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Also worth mentioning that lying to Congress is a crime.

Here's what else is happening in impeachment news:

  • The House has called White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to testify in the impeachment probe. His name has come up multiple times in depositions as someone involved in Trump's dealings with Ukraine. Mulvaney, however, is unlikely to comply with a congressional subpoena or show up to testify, adhering to the gag order Trump has placed on government officials, though several have defied him. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff says that the more Trump aides who defy congressional subpoenas, the more likely Trump is to face obstruction of justice charges.
  • While a number of Trump aides have defied congressional subpoenas this week, some officials are testifying. David Hale, the under secretary of state, will tell investigators that the State Department refused to defend Marie Yovanovitch — the ambassador to Ukraine dismissed by Trump because he believed she stood in the way of convincing Ukraine to investigate his rivals — because they thought defending her would make it harder to get Trump to release the military aid to Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.
  • Vice President Mike Pence is also being drawn into the impeachment inquiry, as one of his top aides will answer questions from House investigators about how much Pence knew of Trump's scheme to withhold military aid to Ukraine in order to force investigations of his rivals, according to CNN. The aide, Jennifer Williams, is a longtime State Department employee who has been detailed to Pence's national security team. She was one of the people listening in on the July 25 call that sparked the impeachment inquiry in the first place.
  • Republicans continue their attacks on the whistleblower, whose complaint led to the impeachment inquiry that threatens Trump's presidency. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said Tuesday that he will "probably" out the whistleblower's name, a move that could endanger the whistleblower's safety. Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) says outing the whistleblower's identity would be "very responsible."

Come back tomorrow for more impeachment news.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.