The White House's promise to stonewall a congressional impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump will get an early test on Friday, when the former ambassador to Ukraine is scheduled to testify to House of Representatives investigators.
In a Friday morning statement, an attorney for Sondland said, "Notwithstanding the State Department's current direction not to testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the Committees' subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday".
But Sondland is not authorized to release the documents the House committees have sought, his lawyers said, adding that Sondland hopes the material will be shared with the committees before his Thursday appearance. Schiff is chair of the House's intelligence committee, which is spearheading the probe. In a statement quoted by Politico, he said his motivation in urging the removal of Yovanovitch was his belief that "political appointees should not be disparaging the president, especially while serving overseas".
Gordon Sondland, the USA ambassador to the European Union, will testify to the House under subpoena next week, according to his legal team.
The request, if met by expected White House and State Department opposition, is likely to present a quandary for the longtime diplomat, according to former State Department officials who know him.
Democrats want to ask him about text messages released last week that show him and two other US diplomats acting as intermediaries as Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Ukraine's involvement in the 2016 USA election and Hunter Biden's involvement with a gas company there.
House Democrats moved ahead with the impeachment probe after the complaint was made public and a rough memo of the July 25 call was released.
"Ambassador Sondland does not control the disposition of his documents". He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June and presented his credentials at the European Commission in July.
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"The president has been crystal clear no quid pro quo of any kind", Sondland said.
Democrats believe President Donald Trump abused his powers by withholding military aid in exchange for a political favor from a foreign power to interfere in US elections.
The pair, Ukraine-born Lev Parnas and Belarus-born Igor Fruman, were arrested at an airport outside Washington carrying one-way tickets to Vienna.
The investigation of Trump could lead to the approval of articles of impeachment - or formal charges - against the president in the House.
Yovanovitch was accused of impeding a Ukrainian investigation into the Bidens - an allegation the State Department said at the time was "outright fabrication".
Even before the testimony, the attention on Yovanovitch was renewed Thursday after USA prosecutors arrested two Florida businessmen tied to Giuliani, charging them with campaign finance violations.
Michael McKinley, a former ambassador to Brazil, Afghanistan and Colombia, was a senior adviser to Mr. Pompeo and seen as a bridge between career foreign-service officers and political appointees.