US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland admitted that the restoration of military assistance to Ukraine depended on the investigation in Ukraine of a case against Burisma, where Hunter Biden, the son of potential Trump rival Joe Biden, worked.
This is evidenced by Sondland’s testimony published in the US Congress on November 5 as part of an investigation into the impeachment of Trump.
Sondland admitted that he warned representatives of the Ukrainian government about quid pro quo.
Speaking at a congressional hearing a few weeks ago, Sodland evaded answering a question about the reasons for the suspension of aid, citing the fact that he does not remember all the circumstances of those events.
In the testimony, the ambassador said that on September 1, 2019, he told the assistant to the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky Andriy Yermak that “the restoration of assistance from the United States is unlikely to happen until Ukraine makes a public anti-corruption statement, which we discussed for several weeks”.
This is a statement that was expected from the Ukrainian authorities, where Burisma and Hunter Biden should have been mentioned.
Sondland noted that by the beginning of September, he understood “without any reliable explanation” that the detention of the United States by the United States was connected with Trump’s demand for an investigation in Ukraine of the case against Biden.
The White House has already commented on the published transcript of Sondland’s testimony. According to Reuters, they said there that it threatens the entire investigation into Trump’s impeachment.
White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham noted that in his testimony, Sondland could not say exactly who ordered to delay the provision of assistance to Ukraine. She added that the link between requiring a statement to start an investigation and providing assistance is a “guess” for a diplomat.