Trump is accused of pressuring Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to launch investigations for damaging information on former US Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. The request came as Trump withheld almost $400m in military aid to Ukraine, prompting speculation that the United States president was using the money as leverage for the investigation. Kurt Volker, a Republican whom Mr. Trump's administration appointed as special envoy to Ukraine, testified that the allegations Mr. Trump wanted investigated about Mr. Biden were groundless and that their Ukrainian source was not credible.
William Taylor, a United States career diplomat who serves as the charge d'affaires in the U.S. embassy in Ukraine.
Earlier this year, he told the Ukrainian journalist: "We are so-called three friends, three friends are [Energy] secretary [Rick] Ambassador Perry [Kurt] Volcker and myself, we Our duty is to supervise our US-Ukrainian relationship between the highest level of US government and the highest level of Ukrainian government".
It was essentially a quid pro quo arrangement with Ukraine that Mr Sondland had previously denied.
The more evidence that accumulates of Ukrainians being told to investigate the Bidens if they wanted US aid, the greater the chance that Sondland and Giuliani will be portrayed as freelancers pursuing a misbegotten idea of what Trump wanted.
"Despite his unquestioned status as a close and senior advisor to the President, and the longstanding bipartisan position of that branch regarding the compelled congressional testimony of such advisors, the House Defendants threaten to hold Mr. Mulvaney in contempt or otherwise take adverse action against him for obeying the directive of the head of his branch", Mulvaney wrote in his motion.
"Read the transcript. You'll see the call", Trump said of the April conversation.
He had known about the reports swirling in the media about the Bidens, however, and he "cautioned the Ukrainians to distinguish between highlighting their own efforts to fight corruption domestically, including investigating Ukrainian individuals, something we support as a matter of USA policy, and doing anything that could be seen as impacting USA elections, which is in neither the United States' nor Ukraine's own interest".
"I don't want to give credibility to a corrupt witch hunt", Trump told reporters.
Trump floated the idea of releasing a transcript of that call, which hasn't been made public, while talking to reporters on Friday.
"I think there's more evidence to the effect that the president shook down Ukraine, tried to cover it up, and threatened to and then withheld security assistance to Ukraine than there is evidence that the sun will come up in the East tomorrow", Heck said. So you'll read the second call.
"Because that's what the president wanted to hear?".
Jon Healey is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.