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Democrats set to grill ambassador embroiled in Ukraine controversy

Democrats set to grill ambassador embroiled in Ukraine controversy

by CRISTINA MARCOS AND MIKE LILLIS - The Hill  |  Published on October 8, 2019

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Democrats are plowing ahead with their impeachment inquiry Tuesday, as lawmakers prepare to question the U.S. ambassador to the European Union over his role in President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

Gordon Sondland — a wealthy hotelier, longtime Republican donor and, more recently, Trump convert — is scheduled to testify behind closed doors before members of three House committees as part of a fast-moving investigation into allegations that Trump leveraged military aid to Ukraine in return for political favors from the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Sondland is the third Trump official to face questioning from lawmakers surrounding the Ukraine affair, following last week’s closed-door testimony from Kurt Volker, Trump’s former envoy to Kiev, and Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the nation’s intelligence community.

Tuesday’s testimony might prove to be the most politically animated, as the E.U. ambassador has emerged as a vocal Trump loyalist who quickly defended the president’s Ukraine dealings in the face of concern from other leading U.S. diplomats.

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