Lawyer says potential impeachment witness told not to appear before House panel

Photo: Patrick Kelley / Martin Falbisoner / CC BY-SA 3.0 / MGN
By  | 

WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department has reportedly told an ambassador not to appear for his scheduled interview before a joint House committee taking depositions in the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump.

Ambassador Gordon Sondland had previously agreed to appear voluntarily Tuesday to answer the committee’s questions in a closed session.

Sondland attorney Robert Luskin says that as the sitting U.S. ambassador to the European Union and an employee of the State Department, Sondland is required to follow the department’s direction. No reason for the direction was cited, he said.

Luskin says Sondland “is profoundly disappointed that he will not be able to testify.”

Luskin says Sondland “believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States.”

Sondland was one of Trump's donors, giving $1 million to Trump’s election effort and ultimately scoring a plum post as U.S. ambassador to the European Union.