In his testimony, Gordon Sondland opined that a quid pro quo took place, but observed that he is not a lawyer.
A lawyer for the US ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, told The Wall Street Journal that his client told the House committees last week that he believed that US President Trump’s request for an investigation into a Ukrainian gas company constituted a quid pro quo (from the Latin: “something for something”).
Asking a lawmakers’ question on the matter, Sondland answered affirmatively, but warned that “he is not a lawyer,” the report says.
Earlier this week, a transcript of a congressional speech by US charge d’affaires in Ukraine Bill Taylor was released, which US media touted as “explosive.”
According to the testimony, Sondland was one of those involved in an “unofficial” diplomatic channel with Ukraine, which relayed messages to Ukrainian representatives in circumvention of the official route, which was led by Taylor, an embassy head. During their exchanges, Sondland told Taylor that not only had a meeting between the two presidents occurred, but also US military aid was conditioned on a public statement by Ukrainian President Zelensky.
Sondland told Taylor that Trump wanted Zelensky to publicly announce that he would investigate Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings, where presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son had a seat at the board. Trump told Sondland that he was not asking for a quid pro quo.