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White House Says It Won’t Cooperate With Impeachment Inquiry

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WASHINGTON (WSJ) -  House committees will subpoena Gordon Sondland after the State Department directed the U.S. ambassador to the European Union to skip a planned deposition Tuesday, preventing Congress from hearing from a key figure in the Ukraine controversy driving Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. The decision by the administration to block Mr. Sondland from testifying just hours before he was set to appear sets up another showdown in the fight between the Trump administration and the Democratic-controlled House.

FULL ARTICLE

https://www.wsj.com/articles/state-department-directs-gordon-sondland-not-to-appear-for-house-testimony-lawyer-says-11570538414?mod=hp_lead_pos1

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I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican’s rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public....
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Donald J. Trump
....to see. Importantly, Ambassador Sondland’s tweet, which few report, stated, “I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind.” That says it ALL!   
 
Late Tuesday, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to congressional Democrats rebuffing requests for cooperation and attacking the impeachment inquiry.

“You have designed and implemented your inquiry in a manner that violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process,” Mr. Cipollone wrote. “President Trump cannot permit his administration to participate in this partisan inquiry under these circumstances.” The letter called on Democrats to “abandon the current invalid efforts to pursue an impeachment inquiry.” President Trump says Democrats are engaged in a witch hunt designed to drive him from office. Democrats say the White House is stonewalling legitimate inquiries into whether he improperly sought to enlist a foreign nation in undermining a political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Mr. Sondland had flown to Washington from Brussels and was set to be deposed starting Tuesday morning. Lawmakers want to learn what he knows about President Trump’s effort to press Kyiv for investigations of Mr. Biden, and whether the administration offered promises of a White House visit or military assistance in return. The ambassador, a Republican donor and former hotel executive, was expected to be questioned on the role that he and other officials played in crafting a statement in August in which Ukraine would commit to opening a corruption investigation involving Mr. Biden in exchange for a White House meeting between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify,” Mr. Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “But unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican’s rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public to see.” Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Democrats consider the move by the Trump administration to bar Mr. Sondland from testifying and producing related documents “additional, strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress.”

 

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