WATCH: Sondland Throws Mike Pence Under Bus, Says He Knew of Quid Pro Quo Concerns
Ambassador Gordon Sondland opened his public impeachment testimony by dropping Vice President Mike Pence into the middle of the Ukraine scandal, telling the House Intelligence Committee that he raised concerns about tying Ukraine security assistance to investigations.
At Wednesday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Sondland wasted little time in dropping a bomb on Pence. During his opening statement, Sondland described a September 1 meeting in which he told Pence his concerns about the tying of aid to to investigations, and subsequently shared those concerns with Ukrainian aide Andriy Yermak.
“I mentioned to Vice President Pence before the meetings with the Ukrainians that I had concerns that the delay in aid had become tied to the issue of investigations,” Sondland said, referencing the investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, as well as the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 presidential election. Demands for those investigations are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.
“I recall mentioning that before the Zelensky meeting,” Sondland said, and added “During the actual meeting, President Zelensky raised the issue of security assistance directly with Vice President Pence. The Vice President said he would speak to President Trump about it.”
“Based on my communications with Secretary Pompeo, I felt comfortable sharing my concerns with Mr. Yermak,” Sondland said, and added “In a very brief pull-aside conversation, that happened within a few seconds, I told Mr. Yermak that I believed that the resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine took some kind of action on the public statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]