U.S. ambassador on Rick Perry, Rudy Giuliani and Ukraine: "We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani."


U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 20, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

WASHINGTON — Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testified on Wednesday that President Trump's personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, pushed a quid pro quo between the American and Ukrainian leadership.

"Mr. Giuliani's requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelenksy," Sondland said of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Sondland then stated that in order to obtain a White House visit, Zelensky must publicly announce investigations into the business activities of Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, and a conspiracy theory that Ukraine was involved in influencing the 2016 election.

Sondland testified as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry hearings before the House Intelligence Committee.

He publicly confirmed that he worked closely with outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Ukrainian policy "at the express direction of the president of the United States."

"We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt," he said. "We all understood that if we refused to work with Mr. Guiliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine."

"So we followed the president's orders."

Throughout his opening remarks to the committee, Sondland had a refrain as he cited some conversations that included Perry, others that did not: "Everyone was in the loop."

Read related Tribune coverage