Trump ordered diplomats to work with Giuliani on Ukraine, Sondland testifies

US ambassador to the EU broke from the president in his opening statement to Congress

Donald Trump instructed US diplomats to go through his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to make the Ukrainian president’s access to the White House dependent on launching investigations into Trump’s political opponents, the US ambassador to the EU has testified.

In his opening statement to Congress on Thursday, Gordon Sondland, a wealthy hotelier and Trump donor, sought to distance himself from the president, saying he had been “disappointed” Trump had chosen to conduct an important strategic relationship through his lawyer.

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Trump impeachment inquiry: EU ambassador Gordon Sondland to testify – live

Sondland, a key figure in Ukraine inquiry, to testify behind closed doors, while Pence and Pompeo in Turkey to try to negotiate ceasefire

Good Thursday morning! Another busy day on Capitol Hill this morning. Gordon Sondland, US ambassador to the European Union and a key figure in the impeachment investigation, will be testifying this morning before the House committees leading the inquiry.

Sondland allegedly pushed US diplomats to get onboard with pressuring Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy for an investigation into the company that Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s son, had ties to. Today, Sondland is expected to tell Congress that he was unaware that the company was linked to Hunter Biden. Sondland’s testimony will start at 10am.

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Senior Democrat Elijah Cummings dies from health complications

Regular Trump target and key figure in impeachment investigation died on Thursday

The Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings died early on Thursday due to complications from longstanding health challenges, his congressional office said on Thursday. He was 68.

A sharecropper’s son, Cummings became the powerful chairman of a House committee that investigated Donald Trump, and was a formidable orator who passionately advocated for the poor in his black-majority district, which encompasses a large portion of Baltimore, Maryland, as well as richer suburbs.

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