Gordon Sondland Blames Ukraine Scandal on Trump

The efforts to push Ukraine into opening investigations came at the president’s “express direction,” he’ll tell the impeachment probe.

Tom Williams/ZUMA

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Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, plans to directly blame Donald Trump for efforts to coerce Ukraine into launching investigations against the president’s political enemies. Sondland’s prepared testimony, which you can read below, makes crystal clear that he has no intention of being the administration’s fall guy in the Ukraine scandal.

“First, Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker, and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the President of the United States,” Sondland will say at his public hearing on Wednesday in the impeachment inquiry. 

“As I testified previously, Mr. Giuliani’s requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelensky…Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the President of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the President.”

Sondland is now moments away from testifying. Follow along here as we continue to cover the fourth day of hearings.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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