another embarrassing testimony for Donald Trump

The president imposed his personal lawyer on the diplomats in charge of Ukraine and wanted Kiev to investigate a group linked to the son of his rival Joe Biden, assures the US ambassador to the European Union.

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland on his arrival for a congressional hearing on October 17. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

It was only a postponement. Despite the ban on President Donald Trump, US Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, was heard in camera by the House of Representatives on Thursday, October 17, and took care to dissociate himself from the United States. President.

The role of Rudy Giuliani in question

Before testifying before the elected officials investigating the impeachment proceedings against the Republican President, the Ambassador released an opening statement in which he explained that the US President had "Orderly" diplomats in charge of this country to talk to Rudy Giuliani about Ukraine's efforts to fight corruption. "We were disappointed by the president's order to involve Mr. Giuliani", he added.

"For us, the men and women of the State Department and not the president's personal advocate should be responsible for all aspects of US foreign policy in Ukraine. "

During the exchanges that followed, "Mr. Giuliani pointed out that the President wanted a public statement from the President (Ukrainian Volodymyr) Zelensky on the fight against corruption »he continued. According to him, Rudy Giuliani "Precisely mentioned" the gas group Burisma as a "Important inquiry topic for the president".

Sondland said he did not know at the time that Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son – well placed to face Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election – sat on the company's supervisory board – he joined in 2014 and resigned in April 2019. The ambassador also explains that he disapproves of the use of a foreign government to conduct an investigation aimed at influencing the US elections.

One of former US National Security Adviser John Bolton's aides had been alarmed by White House pressure on Ukraine. According to information from New York Times and NBC News, John Bolton saw Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, "Like a detonated grenade ready to blow everyone up".

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Series of testimonials

Gordon Sondland is the last of a series of witnesses to be interviewed in camera by elected officials. His appearance is highly anticipated, as text messages and other testimonies place him at the center of a foreign policy dialogue with Ukraine.

On Friday, Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, testified despite the White House's ban and claimed that Donald Trump had lobbied for months for his recall to Washington on the basis of "False accusations". On Tuesday, congressional officials questioned a senior official of the State Department Specialist of Ukraine, George Kent. On Wednesday, it was Michael McKinley, adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo until his resignation late last week.

"We want to move fast"said the elected Democrat Mark Pocan, recalling that the goal was to submit articles of impeachment of the president to the vote of the House of Representatives before the end of the year. He will then return to the Senate to organize the trial of Donald Trump. Given the Republican majority in this chamber, his dismissal is at this stage unlikely.

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