Trump's European Union ambassador to testify after Democrats' subpoena

Marie Yovanovitch

The three main House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry have released a set of text messages obtained from former USA envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, including one Volker sent to Zelenskiy aide Andrey Yermak saying, "We will nail down date for visit to Washington" if Zelenskiy "convinces Trump he will investigate".

In a statement Friday, Ambassador Gordon Sondland's attorney said he will comply with a subpoena issued by the House committees after his no-show and appear before the committees on Thursday.

Trump alleges that when Biden was vice president, he threatened to withhold loan guarantees to Ukraine unless the government stopped investigating a gas company on which Hunter Biden, held a board seat. Chief among the reasons it listed is the fact that the probe was announced without an authorizing vote of the full House of Representatives, as has been done in past presidential impeachment cases.

In her remarks, she said that the State Department had been attacked and hollowed out, and she predicted harm to the nation's interests.

After Yovanovitch gave a tough speech in March urging the government to sack a senior anti-corruption official, she came under fire from Lutsenko, conservative voices in the US and the president's son, Donald Trump Jr.

Yovanovitch said the deputy secretary of state, John Sullivan, "added that there had been a concerted campaign against me, and that the department had been under pressure from the president to remove me since the summer of 2018". Giuliani has said he provided information to both Trump and the State Department about Yovanovitch, who he suggested was biased against Trump.

'Incredulous': Yovanovitch says she was "incredulous" she lost her post "based, as far as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives", per the New York Times.

The career diplomat was recalled from her post in May after criticism from some Republicans, including Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, that she was not supportive of the administration's policies.

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The White House did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.

A whistle-blower complaint detailed Trump's July 25 phone call with Zelenskiy, with Trump asking him to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival.

"Notwithstanding the State Department's current direction to not testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the Committees" subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday, ' Sondland's lawyers Robert Luskin and Kwame Manley said Friday morning.

She concluded by expressing "deep disappointment and dismay" she felt as the events in Ukraine unfolded, including her removal.

Lutsenko accused Yovanovitch of obstructing Ukrainian investigations and providing the USA with "evidence" of wrongdoing. They said the State Department has sole authority to produce such documents and that federal law and regulation prohibit their client from doing so.

Businessmen with ties to Giuliani lobbied a USA congressman in 2018 for help ousting Yovanovitch, according to an indictment made public Thursday following the men's arrest.

Democrats want to ask him about text messages released last week that show him and two other USA diplomats acting as intermediaries as Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Ukraine's involvement in the 2016 US election and Hunter Biden's involvement with a gas company there.

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