NYT: Sondland Kept Pompeo In The Extortion Loop

The Associated Press reports:

Ambassador Gordon Sondland, the most anticipated witness in the impeachment inquiry, will confront questions Wednesday about his evolving accounts of the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine and a newly revealed summertime phone call with President Donald Trump.

Sondland, a wealthy hotelier Trump tapped as his ambassador to the European Union, is more directly entangled than any witness yet in the Republican president’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and Democrats in the 2016 election.

Yet Sondland has already amended his testimony once — “I now do recall,” he said, talking to Ukraine about investigations. Trump has recently tried to suggest that he barely knows his hand-picked ambassador, but Sondland has said he has spoken several times with the president and was acting on his direction.

The New York Times reports:

Gordon D. Sondland, the diplomat at the center of the House impeachment inquiry, kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo apprised of key developments in the campaign to pressure Ukraine’s leader into public commitments that would satisfy President Trump, two people briefed on the matter said.

Mr. Sondland informed Mr. Pompeo in mid-August about a draft statement that Mr. Sondland and another American diplomat had worked on with the Ukrainians that they hoped would persuade Mr. Trump to grant Ukraine’s new president the Oval Office meeting he was seeking, the people said.

Later that month, Mr. Sondland discussed with Mr. Pompeo the possibility of pushing the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to pledge during a planned meeting with Mr. Trump in Warsaw that he would take the steps being sought by Mr. Trump as a way to break the logjam in relations between the two countries, the people said.