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Tipsheet

State Dept Blocks Ambassador Sondland From Testifying Before Congress About Ukraine

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

UPDATE: President Trump explains why Sondland shouldn't testify.

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ORIGINAL POST

The State Department has barred Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the EU, from testifying before Congress on Tuesday. He was scheduled to appear before a few House committees and answer questions about his role in the controversy over Ukraine as part of the Democrats' impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. And he had already made the trip to Washington.

The whistleblower complaint against Trump last month described a phone conversation between him and Ukrainian President Zelensky regarding Joe Biden and his son Hunter's ties to Ukraine. According to the whistleblower's secondhand knowledge, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate the Bidens' relationship to a corrupt Ukrainian gas company. Some reports suggested Trump had also threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine, and therefore was guilty of quid pro quo. But, the phone transcript, which the White House released, did not provide credence to that claim. Trump also insists his asking Zelensky about Biden was about weeding about corruption, not politics. 

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This is a breaking news story and will be updated accordingly.

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