Trump's ambassador to the EU says the president ordered him against his will to work with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine

gordon sondland

Erik S. Lesser - Pool/Getty

Gordon Sondland is seen being sworn in before his Congressional testimony on November 20.

Gordon Sondland, the United States Ambassador to the European Union, told House impeachment investigators on Wednesday that he was forced to work with the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to pressure the government of Ukraine into a politically-motivated investigation.

Sondland testified that President Donald Trump instructed him to work with Giuliani, as the latter advocated Ukrainian leadership to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden's son's business dealings in the country. He said outgoing energy secretary Rick Perry and former Ukraine envoy Rick Volker were also part of the group.
"Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the president of the united states.

"We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we were playing the hand we were dealt," Sondland said.

Sondland's testimony follows a newly revealed phone call between the president and the ambassador, showing that Sondland is more directly entangled in the Ukraine pressure campaign than any witness to testify in the impeachment hearings yet.

Sondland said he made sure key members of the administration knew about Trump's game plan to get Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden,

"Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret," he said.