Sondland: ‘Everyone was in the loop’

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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland testified that he personally worked to get Ukraine to publicly announce investigations that President Trump wanted.

“Was there a quid pro quo, as I testified previously with regards to the White House call and the White House meeting, the answer is yes,” Sondland said.

But he said he didn’t realize the company Burisma was tied to the Bidens. He also said he was not part of a shadow campaign to get Ukraine to cooperate with the president.

“Everyone was in the loop,” Sondland said.

Sondland said President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Former National Security Adviser John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney all went along with the plan.

Sondland told lawmakers he spoke to President Trump directly about the investigations.

Chairman of the Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff said Sondland’s testimony is among the most significant.

“It goes right to the heart of the issue of bribery, as well as other high crimes or misdemeanors,” Schiff said.

Sondland said after he learned military aid to Ukraine was on hold, he came to the conclusion that the aid was also dependent on the investigations.

President Trump mounted his own defense, quoting one conversation in which Sondland asked what he wanted from Ukraine.

“I say to the ambassador in response, I want nothing, I want nothing, I want no quid pro quo,” Trump said.

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