Currents News Staff
The U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, was supposed to testify behind closed doors on Capitol Hill on October 8.
“The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress,” said Demcratic Rep Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee.
House Democrats are furious that Sondland was blocked from testifying.
But shortly before he was scheduled to appear, the State Department directed him not to testify, drawing swift rebuke from Democrats and likely escalating the impeachment inquiry.
“They have done everything they possibly can to obstruct the Congress’ constitutional right to oversight,” said Democratic Representative Mike Quigley.
This move is part of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Trump, and follows a whistleblower’s complaint about a call Trump had with the Ukrainian president in July.
Sondland was expected to testify about conversations he had that discussed whether President Trump withheld aid from the Ukraine, while pushing the Ukraine for an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden.
For their part, Republicans said they too had been looking forward to hearing from Sondland, but stood by the White House decision to block the testimony, saying the impeachment inquiry process hasn’t been fair.
“We wish he would have been able to testify too, but we fully understand why the administration made the decision they did,” said Republican Ohio Representative Jim Jordan.
A new poll shows that public opinion may be shifting. For the first time, a majority of Americans are supporting the impeachment inquiry process, with 58 percent agreeing that Congress was right to open the impeachment inquiry, and 38 percent opposed.
In light of today’s developments in Washington, the chairs of the house intelligence, foreign affairs, and oversight committees — said they will be issuing a subpoena to Ambassador Sondland for”both his testimony and documents.”