The House democrats are considering whether to go ahead with US Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. Some legislators believe that the investigators of the impeachment trial were misled earlier this month.
When they heard of a number of foreign career services and national security officials, some Democrats say, Sondland lied to three House of Representatives committees to investigate. President Trump Donald John TrumpJudge plans to hear an ex-Trump adjutant refuse to appear in the investigation About Trump's Ukraine stores Murkowski told Collins they would not co-finance Graham's impeachment decision MORE especially with regard to the pressure on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to initiate two investigations that would help Trump politically.
] Now some Democrats want Sondland to return to Capitol Hill to witness the conflict while others claim to be charged with misleading the House committees.
The latest development comes from Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the director of European affairs at the National Security Council (NSC), on Tuesday said for over 10 hours before the investigators of the house. Vindman said that Sondland has a direct stake in putting Zelensky under pressure to carry out investigations into the 2016 elections and against the former vice-president. Joe Biden Joe BidenJudge plans to hear a former Trump aide refuse to appear as an investigator The ex-Trump official's refusal to testify in Ukraine exacerbates tensions over his impeachment. MORE is one of Trump's most important political opponents for 2020.
Some Democrats said Vindman's statement revealed a crime: Sondland lied under oath. "He has clearly lied to the committee and should bring charges against him," said a Democratic lawmaker involved in the impeachment investigation.
While other Democrats did not call for specific action, they also believed that Sondland was not true and should return to Capitol Hill to ask questions about these contradictory accounts.
"After all the statements made so far, I believe that Ambassador Gordon Sondland committed perdition," tweeted Rep. Joaquin Castro Joaquin CastroLawyers plead for a national Latino Museum Biden collecting donations in the third quarter MORE (D-Texas), member of the House Intelligence Committee.
"During the investigation in Russia, I said that there were four witnesses whom I would like to have back. Now it's five, "he said. Rep. Mike Quigley Michael (Mike) Bruce Quigley According to Dems, an ambassador is despised while the GOP defends Trump's former Ukrainian ambassador to give a taxpayer's notice in the spotlight of the impeachment struggle. MORE (D-Ill.), Member of the House Intelligence Committee. "I do not know it's going to happen, we have such a tight schedule and there are so many other things to do I would like to have him back, or I would have liked to have him with some of those witnesses we had recently."
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz Deborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzNight Defense: Trump Cancels Sanctions Against Turkey | "Small numbers" of troops left behind by Syrian oil fields | The defendant's impeachment certificate was postponed five hours after the Republican storm. The Republicans storm a protest outside the door in protest at the impeachment process. The Hill's Morning Report – presented by the Better Medicare Alliance – makes headlines MORE -Fla.) Posted a similar assessment on Tuesday, saying it had "more concerns" regarding the credibility of Vindman's opening remarks Sondland.
"His memories of certain events, conversations were untrustworthy, and now I've heard a lot of details about the same meetings he's described, with more questions," she told reporters in front of the locked room locker room. "I'd like to hear more from [Sondland] because what I've heard from other witnesses later, raises concerns about his truthfulness and his testimony, causes more concern than I already had." Vindman's statements are consistent with those of other witnesses and say that they filled "more puzzle pieces."
Sondland, a wealthy Trump donor, has no previous diplomatic knowledge, and the Democrats are suspicious of his version of the events since its launch on October 17, it rejected the legal team of Sondland to comment on the issues raised in Vindman's opening statement.
Since then, Democrats have raised more alarm about Sondland's testimony, especially after testifying to William Taylor, the leading US diplomat in the Ukraine Last week, he believed the Trump government had held back nearly $ 400 million in development aid from Ukraine to move Zelensky to open the Biden Probes and 2016. Sondland, who repeated Trump, had claimed that there was no such return.
"I'm leaving with the impression that Mr. Sondland will have something to explain," Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi Subramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiEx-Trump's refusal to testify escalates impeachment tensions Five findings from the explosive Testimony of US Ambassador Overnight Defense: Trump's Syrian envoy was not consulted on retreat | McConnell offers resolution urging Trump, Syria | to reconsider According to Diplomat, the help of Ukraine was bound to political investigations. MORE (D-Ill.), A member of the House Intelligence Committee, said at the time.
Vindman is the 10th witness to appear before the three Democratic committees – impeachment investigation, which was launched five weeks ago after whistleblower claimed that Trump had used US aid to foreign leaders to put pressure on.
While Vindman told legislators that he was not a whistleblower, his statement states key parts of the whistleblower's account of Sondland's role in the government's print campaign.
Text messages issued to Congress by another witness at the beginning of the month showed that Sondland had tried to obtain a pledge from Zelensky to initiate investigations into corruption with Trump before the Ukrainian president.
Sondland testified that he was unaware of any efforts, Z elensky opened a Biden probe, but also said Trump had insisted on a brief phone call with him that according to his prepared statements on the statement, there was no return.
Vindman's opening statement also directly contradicts Sondland's opening statement that no NSC officials came to him and expressed "concerns about the adequacy" of their Ukraine policy.
"I explained to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security and that such investigations were nothing to which the NSC participated or anything "In the opening speech of Vindman." DR. Hill then entered the room and assured Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate.
A major complaint of the Democrats to Sondland's deposit on October 17 was what they characterized as a lack of specificity – a legislator called it "selective amnesia" – when he passed on events related to government pressure campaigning against the Ukrainians.
Indeed, Rep. Tom Malinowski Thomas (Tom) MalinowskiKey of impeachment: What we have learned so far, Schiff says, committees are making "rapid progress" in the impeachment investigation against Trump "garbage" Ukraine Examining Before the Last Testimony MORE (DN.J.), a former State Department official, said that Sondland's testimony was not so much in conflict with other testimonies as it was less accurate.
"Some witnesses may have deliberately forgotten certain details, but that does not mean that there is a contradiction," said Malinowski, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. "I think what we heard from [Sondland] fully confirms what we have heard from others, only in a few key places less detailed."
Trump's Republican allies have defended Sondland and pointed to his testimony as further proof. The GOP legislators are also pushing to divulge the whistleblower's identity, arguing that the charges are too serious to be based on anonymous accusations ,
"There are 350 million Americans," said Rep. Scott Perry Scott Gordon PerryState Dept. official addressed Pompeo's role in Ukraine in recent statements (R-Pa.), " And somehow a man can anonymously initiate impeachment proceedings against a President of the United States, and no one knows who he is or where he got the information. "
Democrats disagree. And Rep. Adam Schiff Adam Bennett Ship Judge plans hearing for ex-Trump consultant who has refused to appear in the investigation] (D-Calif.), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said after Vindmans lengthy statement that they would make every effort to ensure that Trump and his allies do not use their House statements to "seek political revenge" against the whistleblower.  "The President's comments and actions have jeopardized the security of the whistleblower. The president's allies do not want anything better than helping the president with this whistleblower. Our committee will not be part of it, "Schiff said. "You have the right to remain anonymous."
Rebecca Klar contributed.