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Westlake Legal Group > Pompeo, Mike

Trump Administration Moves to Upgrade Diplomatic Ties With Sudan

Westlake Legal Group merlin_165417735_df938721-c5f3-4081-9a75-dffe3cb47c3e-facebookJumbo Trump Administration Moves to Upgrade Diplomatic Ties With Sudan United States International Relations Terrorism Sudan State Department South Sudan Pompeo, Mike Hamdok, Abdalla Hale, David Maclain Embargoes and Sanctions Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates

WASHINGTON — The United States said on Wednesday that it would begin exchanging ambassadors with Sudan after a 23-year gap, a sign the countries intend to strengthen diplomatic ties.

The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was the Trump administration’s vote of confidence in a new Sudanese civilian-led government installed in August after a sweeping revolution ended military rule.

Mr. Pompeo said the move could help transform Sudan’s political and economic systems, bolstering changes demanded by protesters who filled the streets of the country’s major cities over the summer and withstood harsh crackdowns — including killings — by security forces.

Since taking office this summer, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok “has demonstrated a commitment to peace negotiations with armed opposition groups, established a commission of inquiry to investigate violence against protesters and committed to holding democratic elections,” Mr. Pompeo said in a written statement.

Mr. Hamdok, an experienced administrator and British-trained economist, is visiting Washington this week, where he is, among other things, asking the administration to drop Sudan from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The potential removal of Sudan from the list would continue to be a consideration, a State Department official said, and the move to install ambassadors suggests the department may comply, which would leave only three countries on the list. The others, Iran, Syria and North Korea, have no diplomatic ties with the United States. The terrorism designation means that restrictions remain on foreign aid and military sales.

Mr. Pompeo was in Lisbon on Wednesday to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, so David Hale, the third-ranking State Department official, spoke with Mr. Hamdok instead. Among the topics of discussion were a political road map for South Sudan, which broke away from Sudan in 2011, and efforts to establish “peace between the government and Sudan’s armed opposition groups,” the State Department said in a summary of the meeting.

In 2017, the United States lifted a number of sanctions against Sudan, including general restrictions on trade. Penalties related to the conflict in Darfur are the only financial sanctions that remain, said the State Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity so as not to override the department’s official statements about the visit.

Mr. Hamdok also met with members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill. The committee said in a statement afterward that in discussing the terrorism designation, lawmakers “raised lingering concerns about the need for financial transparency within the security sector and about remaining elements of the old regime who may still support international terrorism.”

Before being delisted, lawmakers said, Sudan “must reach a settlement with the families of the victims” of several attacks carried out by Al Qaeda operating in the country. Those include the American Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and the bombing of the destroyer Cole in 2000.

In an interview on Tuesday with NPR, Mr. Hamdok said Sudan’s designation hampered its potential for economic growth and ability to pay off debt. He pointed to a shortage of commodities and double-digit inflation.

“So I think we would like to see decent companies from all over the world, but particularly from the U.S., to come and invest in our country, that will create jobs,” he said. “And all this can only happen if we are delisted from this list.”

Mr. Hamdok also defended the makeup of the governing transitional coalition, which includes military and paramilitary leaders, established in a power-sharing agreement in August. Mr. Hamdok said an independent investigative committee was looking into human rights atrocities committed recently against protesters.

The revolution toppled Sudan’s ruler of 30 years, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, leading to his imprisonment. Mr. Bashir is awaiting trial on corruption charges. The transitional government is grappling with questions of justice and the punishment of former officials who took part in atrocities over the decades.

In the interview, Mr. Hamdok said that his government was committed to eliminating “dehumanizing” laws, stressing that it recently repealed so-called morality laws that imposed restrictions on women’s clothing and freedom of movement.

“The sky is the limit,” he said, “for our ambition in observing the human rights of our people.”

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A Mysterious ‘-1’ and Other Call Records Show How Giuliani Pressured Ukraine

WASHINGTON — In the two days before President Trump forced out the American ambassador to Ukraine in April, his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was on the phone with the White House more than a dozen times.

Phone records cited in the impeachment report released Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee illustrate the sprawling reach of Mr. Giuliani’s campaign first to remove the ambassador, Marie L. Yovanovitch, then to force Ukraine’s new government to announce criminal investigations for Mr. Trump’s political gain.

That effort accelerated through the spring and summer into a full-court press to force Ukraine’s new president to accede to Mr. Trump’s wishes or risk losing $391 million in military assistance desperately needed to hold off Russian-led forces waging a separatist war in eastern Ukraine.

From March 26 to Aug. 8, as he developed an irregular foreign policy channel that eventually sidelined both National Security Council and State Department aides, Mr. Giuliani — who is not a government employee — was in touch with top-ranking officials, the newly revealed call records suggested.

He reached out to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; the national security adviser at the time, John R. Bolton; Representative Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee itself; midlevel White House officials; the Fox News host Sean Hannity; a conservative columnist; an associate who has been charged in a scheme related to Ms. Yovanovitch’s ouster; and the owner of a mysterious number, “-1.”

Investigators are trying to determine whether the unidentified phone number belongs to Mr. Trump, said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, who leads the House Intelligence Committee. If so, the phone calls with Mr. Giuliani could be further evidence of the president’s direct involvement in the Ukraine affair.

Westlake Legal Group read-the-document-1575399772992-articleLarge A Mysterious ‘-1’ and Other Call Records Show How Giuliani Pressured Ukraine Yovanovitch, Marie L United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pompeo, Mike Patel, Kashyap Parnas, Lev Nunes, Devin G National Security Council impeachment House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W

Read the House Democrats’ Report on the Impeachment Inquiry

Democrats on three House committees on Tuesday released a report documenting the impeachment case against President Trump.

The report gave no indication of what conversations took place or how investigators obtained the telephone records, which were apparently produced in response to a subpoena to AT&T. Nonetheless, the timing and volume of the calls buttressed testimony by witnesses who portrayed Mr. Giuliani at the center of a shadow foreign policy that dismayed and baffled many in the administration.

The call records showed “considerable coordination among the parties, including the White House” to falsely portray Ms. Yovanovitch as disloyal to the president and to manipulate administration policy for his personal benefit, Mr. Schiff told reporters.

The report detailed a game of phone tag between the -1 phone number and Mr. Giuliani on Aug. 8. That same week, Mr. Giuliani was vigorously pressing State Department officials to persuade President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations into the Biden family and whether Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election.

Mr. Giuliani missed calls from -1 on Aug. 8 to two of his cellphones. Mr. Giuliani then called the White House switchboard and the White House Situation Room, before connecting with -1.

Circumstantial evidence shows that some of the -1 calls involved Mr. Trump, Mr. Schiff said, adding that his committee was working “to find out definitively.”

House investigators suspect that the number may belong to Mr. Trump in part because of phone records used as evidence in the criminal case against Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime friend and former campaign adviser who was convicted last month of seven felonies, including lying to Congress. Mr. Stone, who talked directly to Mr. Trump, received a call from a number listed only as -1, the records from his trial show.

Mr. Schiff declined to say how the committee obtained the phone records.

Mr. Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine are under intense scrutiny by federal prosecutors as well as congressional investigators. Prosecutors in New York are looking into whether he violated foreign lobbying laws in trying to oust the American ambassador and also scrutinizing any financial dealings he might have pursued with Ukrainian officials. Two of his associates — including one whose records were also in the House report, Lev Parnas — have been indicted on charges of violating campaign finance laws and other infractions.

State Department phone records cited in the House report show Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pompeo spoke on March 26 and 28. In an interview in late November, Mr. Giuliani said he spoke to Mr. Pompeo to give him the results of his Ukraine research, including the role he believes that Ukrainians played trying to disrupt Mr. Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

At the time, Mr. Pompeo was under pressure from both Mr. Giuliani and the White House to remove Ms. Yovanovitch from her post. A month later, she was recalled to Washington, even though multiple high-ranking State Department officials testified that she had done nothing wrong.

The records of Mr. Giuliani’s calls also suggest that Mr. Nunes may have played a deeper role than was previously known in Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to manipulate the administration’s policy toward Ukraine.

On April 10, Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Nunes traded short calls before Mr. Giuliani reached Mr. Nunes and the two spoke for about three minutes.

While the subject of their conversation is not known, they were most likely speaking about Ukraine, the report suggested. In the days beforehand, Mr. Giuliani said on Fox News that Ukraine had improperly interfered in the 2016 election and posted on Twitter citing criticism of Ms. Yovanovitch and accusing Ukrainian officials of interfering in American politics.

During the impeachment hearings, Mr. Nunes led the defense of Mr. Trump, repeatedly raising questions about Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election and urging an investigation into Hunter Biden, the younger son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who was hired onto the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Mr. Schiff raised questions about Mr. Nunes’s role. “It is, I think, deeply concerning that at a time when the president of the United States was using the power of his office to dig up dirt on a political rival, that there may be evidence that there were members of Congress complicit in that activity,” Mr. Schiff said.

Mr. Nunes ignored questions about the call records in the Capitol, and his spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. But Republican leaders backed him on Tuesday. “Devin Nunes has a right to talk to anybody,” Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the top Republican in the House, told reporters.

Mr. Giuliani also spoke with current and former members of Mr. Nunes’s staff, including Kashyap Patel, who left Mr. Nunes’s office in February and joined the National Security Council staff to work on issues involving the United Nations and other international organizations. The two men had a 25-minute call on May 10, according to the records, despite the fact that Mr. Bolton, then the national security adviser, had said that no one in his office should be talking to Mr. Giuliani, according to congressional testimony.

Mr. Patel had no formal responsibility for Ukraine policy, and Fiona Hill, then a senior aide to Mr. Bolton, had raised questions about whether he was straying from his official portfolio. She asked Charles Kupperman, then Mr. Bolton’s top deputy, in late May whether Mr. Patel had assumed a role in Ukraine matters but received no answer, according to the impeachment report.

After The New York Times published an article in October about Ms. Hill’s testimony, Mr. Patel filed a defamation lawsuit against the news organization. In that lawsuit, Mr. Patel denied he “played a role in shadow foreign policy” aimed at pushing Ukraine to pursue investigations sought by Mr. Trump.

A National Security Council spokesman declined to comment when asked about Mr. Giuliani’s phone call with Mr. Patel.

Nicholas Fandos and Kenneth P. Vogel contributed reporting.

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Sanctions May Have Fueled Iran Protests, but Have Yet to Further U.S. Goals

Westlake Legal Group 02dc-policy1-facebookJumbo Sanctions May Have Fueled Iran Protests, but Have Yet to Further U.S. Goals United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Pompeo, Mike Obama, Barack Khamenei, Ali Iran Embargoes and Sanctions Economic Conditions and Trends Demonstrations, Protests and Riots

President Trump likes to say that Iran is “a different country” after 18 months of punishing American sanctions, and the protests sweeping Iranian cities suggest he may be right. Even his most vociferous critics acknowledge that Mr. Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign helped fuel that unrest.

But it is far from clear that what is unfolding on the streets today will make Iran more likely to renegotiate its nuclear deal or dial back its malign actions in the region, the two major American goals in dealing with the country.

If the lessons of the Arab Spring and the last big Iranian protests in 2009 are any guide, the crackdown on protesters may well succeed — and the Iranian government will press its case that the uprisings are more evidence of a broad American plot to destabilize the government. And even if Iran’s leaders begin to give some ground, it’s not enough to make partial concessions that don’t address Washington’s fundamental complaints, some administration officials have acknowledged in interviews. The government has to crack in the right way, and that is far from assured.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that the United States was supporting the protesters and that “we’ve done our best to make sure they can continue to communicate by using the internet,” despite a brief effort last week by Iran’s leadership to shut it down “in its entirety” in the country. He was referring to a quiet American effort, dating back several years, to provide ordinary Iranians with ways of communicating without government interference — what the United States calls free speech, and what the Iranian government calls an interference with its cybersovereignty.

But poking holes in Iran’s digital dragnet is a tactic to keep the protests going, not a strategy for transforming Iran’s behavior. And it runs the risk of playing into the Iranian government’s narrative that American efforts are aimed at regime change rather than a change of behavior — and has echoes of “Operation Ajax,” the C.I.A.’s recently acknowledged role in supporting a coup in the country in the mid-1950s.

And while Americans have long forgotten that episode, Iranians certainly have not, something Iran’s leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is certainly aware of as he tries to ride out the uprisings.

In a series of speeches over the past year, Mr. Pompeo and his special envoy for Iran, Brian H. Hook, have made their strategy clear: By constantly ramping up sanctions, they are betting that Ayatollah Khamenei and the government of President Hassan Rouhani will decide that the cost at home is not worth resisting the United States’ pressure but simply cannot say when, or how, that will happen. And they may be proved right: It was a mix of sanctions and sabotage that forced Iran to the table seven years ago, leading to the 2015 agreement that Mr. Trump discarded last year.

“There is a universe in which the Iranian leadership, given the severity of the crisis, seizes this moment to reach a deal with the U.S. that would remove these sanctions in exchange for Tehran complying with the nuclear deal and starting negotiations on a new, broader agreement,” said Robert Malley, the president of the International Crisis Group and one of the negotiators of the 2015 accord when he served on President Barack Obama’s National Security Council.

Mr. Malley added that it was also possible that the Trump administration, “recognizing the limits of its maximum-pressure campaign in curbing Iran’s nuclear or regional ambitions, agrees.”

But the far more likely scenario, given the mood in both capitals, he said, was “one in which the Iranian regime views the unrest chiefly as a foreign, U.S.-inspired plot and refuses to negotiate from a position of weakness.”

Meanwhile, he said, Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo, “buoyed by the sense that its pressure campaign can bring the regime to its knees,” double down.

In fact, that standoff appears to be where things are now headed. Mr. Pompeo insisted on Monday that the root of the protests is what Iranian leaders have done to their economy, not that the sanctions have worsened.

“These protests are a direct result of economic collapse, the absence of political freedoms and a regime that has sent their young boys off to fight and come back dead, and hasn’t used that money for the betterment of the Iranian people,” he said on Fox. “You’re seeing these protests as a direct result of that.”

But he may be underestimating the ayatollah’s skills in putting down dissent over 30 years in office. He “doesn’t feel existential angst,” said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iranian-American scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

The pressure on the leadership will not build “unless and until we start seeing fissures among Iran’s security forces, and so far there are no signs of that,” he added.

The key question is whether economic conditions deteriorate. Mr. Hook noted in an interview on Monday that as the country cuts back further on subsidies, there will be more protests of the kind spurred by the 50 percent surge in gasoline prices. “The regime is running out of money after wasting billions on proxy wars and graft,” Mr. Hook said. “We expect to see additional subsidy cuts and rationing.”

Even if that proves right, Ayatollah Khamenei may in fact be betting that he can wait things out until the American elections, hoping that any Democrat who may be elected would restore the 2015 agreement. It is an uncertain bet — few have made that commitment, and it is almost unimaginable that any future American president would re-enter the agreement without getting something from Iran in return.

In many ways, the decisions the administration finds itself confronting now are similar to the ones the Obama administration confronted in 2009 amid the outbreak of the so-called Green Revolution. It was the first uprising of Mr. Obama’s presidency, less than five months after his inauguration. He reacted with a caution that many of his aides later regretted, declining to speak out in favor of the protesters for fear that it would play into the hands of the Iranian government.

Mr. Pompeo took a swipe at that approach on Monday.

“This administration has taken a completely opposite view of the important political protests, the freedom-seeking, the freedom-loving people of Iran, than President Obama and his administration did,” he said.

He went on to trumpet the somewhat vague effort to put technology into the hands of the Iranian people to allow them to communicate — and slip out images of the carnage as Iranian forces opened up on protesters in places like Mahshahr, a city of 120,000 people where the Revolutionary Guards crushed protesters on Nov. 18, killing as many as 100.

“After the 2017-18 protests in Iran, we accelerated efforts to enable Iranians to communicate with each other and with the outside world,” Mr. Hook said on Monday. Over the past few weeks, he said, “tens of thousands of Iranians used circumvention tools facilitated by the U.S. and our partners, even during the shutdown.”

But both the State Department and American intelligence officials were surprised that the Iranian government took the extraordinary step of shutting down the entire domestic internet infrastructure, even if only for a few days. Taking such an extreme step may have been part of an effort to undercut the use of those American-provided tools, which encrypt communications and give alternate pathways to transmit messages. But no one envisioned a total network shutdown.

Now American officials are trying to examine exactly what happened, and why the Iranians turned the system back on. One senior intelligence official said the best guess so far was that when the government turned off the network, it prompted all kinds of side effects — including a halt to many kinds of commerce — that only worsened the economic pain.

In the meantime, the administration is lauding what it says is a partial victory. Yes, the Iranians may be trying to reassemble the elements of the nuclear program, it notes, and they have not yet re-engaged in negotiations. But the uprisings are soaking up political time and attention.

“Because of our economic pressure campaign,” Mr. Hook insisted, “the regime has far less money and less time to spend on its ambition to dominate the Middle East. This reversal was long overdue.”

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New Documents Reveal Details of Pompeo’s Role in Ukraine Affair

Westlake Legal Group merlin_163180182_ee094740-6437-4488-a6b2-1349cc553dd5-facebookJumbo New Documents Reveal Details of Pompeo’s Role in Ukraine Affair Yovanovitch, Marie L United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Pompeo, Mike House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates

WASHINGTON — Internal State Department emails and documents released late Friday further implicate Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a campaign orchestrated this year by President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to pressure Ukraine for political favors.

The emails indicate that Mr. Pompeo spoke at least twice by telephone with Mr. Giuliani in March as Mr. Giuliani was urging Ukraine to investigate Mr. Trump’s rivals, and trying to oust a respected American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, who had been promoting anticorruption efforts in the country. Mr. Pompeo ordered Ms. Yovanovitch’s removal the next month. One call between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pompeo was arranged with guidance from Mr. Trump’s personal assistant, the documents suggest.

The documents also show that the State Department sent members of Congress a deliberately misleading reply about Ms. Yovanovitch’s departure after they asked about pressure on her. As part of the effort to oust her, Mr. Giuliani and his associates encouraged news outlets favorable to the president to publicize unsubstantiated claims about Ms. Yovanovitch’s disloyalty to Mr. Trump.

The documents, and recent congressional testimonies in the impeachment inquiry, tie Mr. Pompeo closely to efforts by Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani to persuade the Ukrainian government to announce investigations that could help Mr. Trump politically. Those include investigations into the family of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Democratic presidential candidate, and unfounded claims that Ukrainian officials worked to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. As Mr. Trump sought those investigations, he and his team held up $391 million of military aid critical to Ukraine — which is in a grinding war against Russian-backed separatists — and a coveted White House meeting.

The release of the documents, obtained by a liberal watchdog group that had filed a public records request, came as Mr. Pompeo refused to voluntarily hand over State Department documents about Ukraine to the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry. Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Wednesday that Mr. Pompeo was engaged in a Watergate-style “obstruction of this investigation.”

The State Department released the documents in response to a lawsuit brought by the liberal watchdog, American Oversight, whose founders include lawyers who worked in the Obama administration.

Austin Evers, the executive director of the group, said that the documents revealed “a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to Secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani’s smear campaign against a U.S. ambassador.”

Mr. Pompeo has refused to answer questions about his role in the Ukraine affair. The State Department did not reply on Saturday to detailed questions about the documents or witness testimonies in the inquiry that put the secretary at the center of the matter.

The documents bolstered testimony delivered Wednesday by Gordon D. Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union and a player in the pressure campaign on Ukraine. He told lawmakers in a public hearing that Mr. Pompeo had full knowledge of the campaign and even approved certain hard-line tactics. Mr. Pompeo and his top aides “knew what we were doing, and why,” Mr. Sondland said, noting that “everyone was in the loop.” He recited email exchanges he had had with Mr. Pompeo on the pressure campaign.

Last month, Mr. Pompeo acknowledged he took part in the July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

The documents, testimony and interviews with Mr. Giuliani paint a portrait of a secretary of state who not only had intimate knowledge of the pressure campaign against Ukraine and the effort to undermine and remove a respected ambassador, but took part in her ouster despite warnings about the campaign from lawmakers and a half-dozen former ambassadors to Ukraine.

The emails released Friday show that Mr. Giuliani’s assistant reached out to Mr. Trump’s assistant seeking “a good number” for Mr. Pompeo. “I’ve been trying and getting nowhere through regular channels,” Mr. Giuliani’s assistant wrote. Mr. Trump’s assistant forwarded the inquiry to a State Department official, and one call between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pompeo took place within days, the emails show.

The emails also show that Mr. Pompeo was scheduled to call Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, and a key ally of the president’s, just a few days after he spoke with Mr. Giuliani.

The emails do not have details of the telephone conversations.

But in an interview last month, Mr. Giuliani acknowledged that he spoke to Mr. Pompeo in late March — the same period as the calls listed in the emails released Friday — to relay information he had gathered during his Ukrainian research.

In connection with one such conversation, Mr. Giuliani said he provided Mr. Pompeo a timeline listing what he considered to be key events implicating targets of Mr. Trump, including the Bidens, Ms. Yovanovitch and Ukrainians whom Mr. Giuliani said had disseminated damaging information about Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Shortly after, Mr. Pompeo “called and said, ‘Do you have any backup?’” Mr. Giuliani said in the interview.

In response, Mr. Giuliani said, he had someone hand-deliver to Mr. Pompeo’s office an envelope containing a series of memos detailing claims made by a pair of Ukrainian prosecutors in interviews conducted by Mr. Giuliani and his associates in January.

Mr. Pompeo “said he was referring it for investigation,” Mr. Giuliani said, adding that he had since heard that the matters detailed in the memos were referred to the State Department’s inspector general and the F.B.I.

Last month, the department’s inspector general turned over to congressional impeachment investigators a package of materials, including the memos and the timeline, in a Trump Hotel-branded envelope, prompting widespread puzzlement on Capitol Hill about its provenance.

The memos and the timeline were among the materials included in the document release on Friday.

Mr. Giuliani said the memos were written by a retired New York City police detective who works for Mr. Giuliani’s security consulting business and were modeled after the so-called 302 forms that F.B.I. agents file after conducting interviews.

“My guy ­— a former first-grade detective — wrote up what would be the 302,” Mr. Giuliani said. “They’re knockoffs of the 302s,” he added.

The memos include a mix of facts and unsubstantiated claims. They cite documents from Latvia and billing invoices. And they misspell the name of one of the Ukrainian prosecutors.

The memos indicate that the police detective was present for the interviews, as were Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Soviet-born associates who helped Mr. Giuliani connect to the prosecutors and gather information from Kyiv. Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were indicted last month on campaign finance charges, in a case that is tied to an investigation into Mr. Giuliani for possible violations of lobbying laws.

Since at least spring 2018, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman had pushed for Ms. Yovanovitch’s ouster.

The effort gained traction this spring when figures in the conservative news media claimed without evidence that Ms. Yovanovitch had privately disparaged Mr. Trump, and also cited the allegations by the Ukrainian prosecutors.

A letter to the State Department from two senior Democratic lawmakers in the House dated April 12 — just days before Ms. Yovanovitch was ordered to leave her post — said they were concerned by “outrageous efforts by Ukrainian officials to impugn” her. Ms. Yovanovitch, a career official, has served as an ambassador for Republican and Democratic presidents.

The reply from the agency, dated June 1, left the impression that Ms. Yovanovitch departed her post on May 20 because she had been scheduled to rotate out after three years, rather than indicating that she had been forced to leave.

The documents also include a letter dated April 5 from six former United States ambassadors to Ukraine to top State Department officials under Mr. Pompeo. In the letter, the former ambassadors said that they were “deeply concerned” about the charges against Ms. Yovanovitch that had emerged in the news media reports and that the accusations were “simply wrong.”

In late March, Ms. Yovanovitch told the third-ranking State Department official, David Hale, that she felt she could no longer continue in her role unless the department issued a statement in her defense. Mr. Hale briefed Mr. Pompeo about the conversation the next day, he testified to House investigators last week.

After looking into the right-wing campaign against Ms. Yovanovitch — even contacting Sean Hannity, the Fox News personality, to ask for details of wrongdoing — Mr. Pompeo believed that “there was no evidence” to support the allegations, Mr. Hale said in an earlier private testimony to lawmakers. But Mr. Pompeo ultimately chose not to issue a statement of support. (Mr. Hannity has denied any such call.)

John Sullivan, the deputy secretary of state, told senators last month that top State Department officials were aware of the smear campaign against Ms. Yovanovitch. Mr. Sullivan said he believed Mr. Giuliani was behind it.

In his retelling, Mr. Sullivan asked Mr. Pompeo why the president wanted to remove Ms. Yovanovitch. “I was told that he had lost confidence in her, period,” Mr. Sullivan said.

Representative Eliot Engel of New York, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and one of the lawmakers who sent the letter to Mr. Pompeo expressing concern over the smear campaign, said he initially found the department’s response “equally frustrating and baffling.”

“Now that we know more facts it makes sense: Secretary Pompeo was apparently helping the president with his scheme to get political help from the Ukrainians, and Ambassador Yovanovitch was standing in the way,” Mr. Engel said. “Six months later, Mr. Pompeo continues to defend the president’s behavior and defy congressional subpoenas for relevant information at the expense of the public servants he is unwilling to lead and defend.”

Mr. Pompeo has doubled down recently on his support of Mr. Trump’s demands on Ukraine. In several instances last month, Mr. Pompeo repeated an unsubstantiated claim by Mr. Trump — that Ukraine may have run an interference operation in the 2016 election. American intelligence officials and Fiona Hill, a Russia expert who served on Mr. Trump’s National Security Council, say that the falsehood has infected American discourse as part of a yearslong disinformation campaign by Russia.

Catie Edmondson contributed reporting.

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New Documents Reveal Details of Pompeo’s Role in Ukraine Affair

Westlake Legal Group merlin_163180182_ee094740-6437-4488-a6b2-1349cc553dd5-facebookJumbo New Documents Reveal Details of Pompeo’s Role in Ukraine Affair Yovanovitch, Marie L United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Pompeo, Mike House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates

WASHINGTON — Internal State Department emails and documents released late Friday further implicate Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a campaign orchestrated this year by President Trump and his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to pressure Ukraine for political favors.

The emails indicate that Mr. Pompeo spoke at least twice by telephone with Mr. Giuliani in March as Mr. Giuliani was urging Ukraine to investigate Mr. Trump’s rivals, and trying to oust a respected American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, who had been promoting anticorruption efforts in the country. Mr. Pompeo ordered Ms. Yovanovitch’s removal the next month. One call between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pompeo was arranged with guidance from Mr. Trump’s personal assistant, the documents suggest.

The documents also show that the State Department sent members of Congress a deliberately misleading reply about Ms. Yovanovitch’s departure after they asked about pressure on her. As part of the effort to oust her, Mr. Giuliani and his associates encouraged news outlets favorable to the president to publicize unsubstantiated claims about Ms. Yovanovitch’s disloyalty to Mr. Trump.

The documents, and recent congressional testimonies in the impeachment inquiry, tie Mr. Pompeo closely to efforts by Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani to persuade the Ukrainian government to announce investigations that could help Mr. Trump politically. Those include investigations into the family of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Democratic presidential candidate, and unfounded claims that Ukrainian officials worked to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. As Mr. Trump sought those investigations, he and his team held up $391 million of military aid critical to Ukraine — which is in a grinding war against Russian-backed separatists — and a coveted White House meeting.

The release of the documents, obtained by a liberal watchdog group that had filed a public records request, came as Mr. Pompeo refused to voluntarily hand over State Department documents about Ukraine to the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry. Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Wednesday that Mr. Pompeo was engaged in a Watergate-style “obstruction of this investigation.”

The State Department released the documents in response to a lawsuit brought by the liberal watchdog, American Oversight, whose founders include lawyers who worked in the Obama administration.

Austin Evers, the executive director of the group, said that the documents revealed “a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to Secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani’s smear campaign against a U.S. ambassador.”

Mr. Pompeo has refused to answer questions about his role in the Ukraine affair. The State Department did not reply on Saturday to detailed questions about the documents or witness testimonies in the inquiry that put the secretary at the center of the matter.

The documents bolstered testimony delivered Wednesday by Gordon D. Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union and a player in the pressure campaign on Ukraine. He told lawmakers in a public hearing that Mr. Pompeo had full knowledge of the campaign and even approved certain hard-line tactics. Mr. Pompeo and his top aides “knew what we were doing, and why,” Mr. Sondland said, noting that “everyone was in the loop.” He recited email exchanges he had had with Mr. Pompeo on the pressure campaign.

Last month, Mr. Pompeo acknowledged he took part in the July 25 telephone call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.

The documents, testimony and interviews with Mr. Giuliani paint a portrait of a secretary of state who not only had intimate knowledge of the pressure campaign against Ukraine and the effort to undermine and remove a respected ambassador, but took part in her ouster despite warnings about the campaign from lawmakers and a half-dozen former ambassadors to Ukraine.

The emails released Friday show that Mr. Giuliani’s assistant reached out to Mr. Trump’s assistant seeking “a good number” for Mr. Pompeo. “I’ve been trying and getting nowhere through regular channels,” Mr. Giuliani’s assistant wrote. Mr. Trump’s assistant forwarded the inquiry to a State Department official, and one call between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pompeo took place within days, the emails show.

The emails also show that Mr. Pompeo was scheduled to call Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, and a key ally of the president’s, just a few days after he spoke with Mr. Giuliani.

The emails do not have details of the telephone conversations.

But in an interview last month, Mr. Giuliani acknowledged that he spoke to Mr. Pompeo in late March — the same period as the calls listed in the emails released Friday — to relay information he had gathered during his Ukrainian research.

In connection with one such conversation, Mr. Giuliani said he provided Mr. Pompeo a timeline listing what he considered to be key events implicating targets of Mr. Trump, including the Bidens, Ms. Yovanovitch and Ukrainians whom Mr. Giuliani said had disseminated damaging information about Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Shortly after, Mr. Pompeo “called and said, ‘Do you have any backup?’” Mr. Giuliani said in the interview.

In response, Mr. Giuliani said, he had someone hand-deliver to Mr. Pompeo’s office an envelope containing a series of memos detailing claims made by a pair of Ukrainian prosecutors in interviews conducted by Mr. Giuliani and his associates in January.

Mr. Pompeo “said he was referring it for investigation,” Mr. Giuliani said, adding that he had since heard that the matters detailed in the memos were referred to the State Department’s inspector general and the F.B.I.

Last month, the department’s inspector general turned over to congressional impeachment investigators a package of materials, including the memos and the timeline, in a Trump Hotel-branded envelope, prompting widespread puzzlement on Capitol Hill about its provenance.

The memos and the timeline were among the materials included in the document release on Friday.

Mr. Giuliani said the memos were written by a retired New York City police detective who works for Mr. Giuliani’s security consulting business and were modeled after the so-called 302 forms that F.B.I. agents file after conducting interviews.

“My guy ­— a former first-grade detective — wrote up what would be the 302,” Mr. Giuliani said. “They’re knockoffs of the 302s,” he added.

The memos include a mix of facts and unsubstantiated claims. They cite documents from Latvia and billing invoices. And they misspell the name of one of the Ukrainian prosecutors.

The memos indicate that the police detective was present for the interviews, as were Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Soviet-born associates who helped Mr. Giuliani connect to the prosecutors and gather information from Kyiv. Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were indicted last month on campaign finance charges, in a case that is tied to an investigation into Mr. Giuliani for possible violations of lobbying laws.

Since at least spring 2018, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman had pushed for Ms. Yovanovitch’s ouster.

The effort gained traction this spring when figures in the conservative news media claimed without evidence that Ms. Yovanovitch had privately disparaged Mr. Trump, and also cited the allegations by the Ukrainian prosecutors.

A letter to the State Department from two senior Democratic lawmakers in the House dated April 12 — just days before Ms. Yovanovitch was ordered to leave her post — said they were concerned by “outrageous efforts by Ukrainian officials to impugn” her. Ms. Yovanovitch, a career official, has served as an ambassador for Republican and Democratic presidents.

The reply from the agency, dated June 1, left the impression that Ms. Yovanovitch departed her post on May 20 because she had been scheduled to rotate out after three years, rather than indicating that she had been forced to leave.

The documents also include a letter dated April 5 from six former United States ambassadors to Ukraine to top State Department officials under Mr. Pompeo. In the letter, the former ambassadors said that they were “deeply concerned” about the charges against Ms. Yovanovitch that had emerged in the news media reports and that the accusations were “simply wrong.”

In late March, Ms. Yovanovitch told the third-ranking State Department official, David Hale, that she felt she could no longer continue in her role unless the department issued a statement in her defense. Mr. Hale briefed Mr. Pompeo about the conversation the next day, he testified to House investigators last week.

After looking into the right-wing campaign against Ms. Yovanovitch — even contacting Sean Hannity, the Fox News personality, to ask for details of wrongdoing — Mr. Pompeo believed that “there was no evidence” to support the allegations, Mr. Hale said in an earlier private testimony to lawmakers. But Mr. Pompeo ultimately chose not to issue a statement of support. (Mr. Hannity has denied any such call.)

John Sullivan, the deputy secretary of state, told senators last month that top State Department officials were aware of the smear campaign against Ms. Yovanovitch. Mr. Sullivan said he believed Mr. Giuliani was behind it.

In his retelling, Mr. Sullivan asked Mr. Pompeo why the president wanted to remove Ms. Yovanovitch. “I was told that he had lost confidence in her, period,” Mr. Sullivan said.

Representative Eliot Engel of New York, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee and one of the lawmakers who sent the letter to Mr. Pompeo expressing concern over the smear campaign, said he initially found the department’s response “equally frustrating and baffling.”

“Now that we know more facts it makes sense: Secretary Pompeo was apparently helping the president with his scheme to get political help from the Ukrainians, and Ambassador Yovanovitch was standing in the way,” Mr. Engel said. “Six months later, Mr. Pompeo continues to defend the president’s behavior and defy congressional subpoenas for relevant information at the expense of the public servants he is unwilling to lead and defend.”

Mr. Pompeo has doubled down recently on his support of Mr. Trump’s demands on Ukraine. In several instances last month, Mr. Pompeo repeated an unsubstantiated claim by Mr. Trump — that Ukraine may have run an interference operation in the 2016 election. American intelligence officials and Fiona Hill, a Russia expert who served on Mr. Trump’s National Security Council, say that the falsehood has infected American discourse as part of a yearslong disinformation campaign by Russia.

Catie Edmondson contributed reporting.

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The Impeachment Witnesses Not Heard

Westlake Legal Group 21dc-assess-facebookJumbo The Impeachment Witnesses Not Heard United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pompeo, Mike Pence, Mike Mulvaney, Mick impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — In recent days, lawmakers were told that when President Trump ramped up his campaign to pressure Ukraine into helping him against his domestic political rivals, he directed advisers to his personal lawyer. “Talk with Rudy,” he instructed. But one thing lawmakers will not do is talk with Rudy.

Rudolph W. Giuliani was hardly the only offstage character during two weeks of impeachment hearings that ended on Thursday. Lawmakers also heard that Mike Pence and Mike Pompeo were in the loop, that Mick Mulvaney organized the political equivalent of a “drug deal” and that John R. Bolton was adamantly against it.

But among those missing from the House Intelligence Committee’s witness list, besides Mr. Giuliani, are Mr. Pence, Mr. Pompeo, Mr. Mulvaney and Mr. Bolton. Not that the panel’s Democratic majority was unwilling to talk with the vice president, secretary of state, acting White House chief of staff or former national security adviser. Democratic leaders have decided not to wage a drawn-out fight to force them to testify over White House objections.

Instead, as the committee wrapped up its public hearings on Thursday, House Democrats have opted for expeditious over comprehensive, electing to complete their investigation even without filling in major gaps in the story. It is a calculated gamble that they have enough evidence to impeach Mr. Trump on a party-line vote in the House and would risk losing momentum if they took the time to wage a court fight to compel reluctant witnesses to come forward.

But it leaves major questions unresolved. Was Mr. Pence told about a suspected link between security aid and investigations of Mr. Trump’s political opponents, as one witness testified? Did Mr. Pompeo sign off on it? Did Mr. Mulvaney facilitate the scheme? Did Mr. Bolton ever bring his objections directly to the president? Several current and former officials rushed out statements through aides or lawyers taking issue with testimony about them, but none of them volunteered to offer their own versions of the truth under oath.

Democrats have concluded that in the face of White House refusal to cooperate, it is better to press ahead and simply address the refusal of witnesses like Mr. Mulvaney to testify as a plank in a possible article of impeachment alleging obstruction of Congress.

“They should be coming before us,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday. “They keep taking it to court, and no, we’re not going to wait until the courts decide. That might be information that’s available to the Senate, in terms of how far we go and when we go. But we can’t wait for that because, again, it’s a technique. It’s obstruction of justice, obstruction of Congress.”

Even some Republican strategists said she had a point. “As a political matter, the longer this goes, it is a real opportunity for Republicans to paint Democrats as unconcerned about the issues voters care more about, and I think Nancy Pelosi is well aware of that,” said Brendan Buck, who was counselor to former Speaker Paul D. Ryan.

But it leaves some frustrated about the missing pieces. “An impeachable offense should be compelling, overwhelmingly clear and unambiguous,” said Representative Will Hurd of Texas, one of the few Republicans willing to criticize the president and at one point seen as theoretically open to the possibility of impeachment. “And it’s not something to be rushed or taken lightly. I have not heard evidence proving the president committed bribery or extortion.”

With the White House defying the House, Mr. Mulvaney has refused to comply with a subpoena for his testimony while Mr. Pence and Mr. Pompeo have defied subpoenas for documents. Mr. Bolton has declined an invitation to testify and has not been subpoenaed but is awaiting the result of a lawsuit filed by his former deputy, Charles M. Kupperman, asking a judge to decide whether he should listen to the House or the White House.

That case is due for oral arguments in a Federal District Court in Washington on Dec. 10, but even if the judge rules quickly it could be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, which would take time.

Another lawsuit seeking to force Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel, to testify in response to an earlier House subpoena in a previous matter may be decided by a judge on Monday. But it too could be appealed, and Mr. Bolton’s lawyer has suggested that it might not apply to his client since there are separate national security concerns at stake.

None of which would suit the fast-track timetable envisioned by House Democrats. Although more witnesses could still be called, the Intelligence Committee concluded its scheduled public hearings after 12 witnesses and will now focus on drafting a report on the matter. It could also use the coming days to renew its press for the administration to turn over long-sought documents that have become more significant in light of the testimony.

From there, the committee’s report will go to the House Judiciary Committee, which traditionally handles impeachment and will then hold hearings of its own, but generally on constitutional and legal issues rather than fact-finding of its own. After it drafts articles of impeachment, the committee would vote on them and send them to the House floor, where Democrats anticipate a vote by Christmas.

In theory, if witnesses like Mr. Bolton do agree to testify or are compelled by a court, they could still be called before the Judiciary Committee. And for that matter, if the House does impeach Mr. Trump and sends the case to the Senate for a trial that would open sometime after the new year, additional witnesses could still be called then, too.

But the two weeks of public hearings showed how much remains fluid. Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union and a key figure in the pressure campaign, amended his original closed-door testimony after other witnesses contradicted him. Others like William B. Taylor Jr., the acting ambassador to Ukraine; Kurt D. Volker, the special envoy for Ukraine; and Laura K. Cooper, a Defense Department official, offered new information after their original interviews when reminded by their staff or other witnesses.

Some of those who have not testified are aggrieved at their portrayals over the last two weeks. Mr. Mulvaney protested testimony on Thursday by Fiona Hill, a former Bolton deputy, that put him at the center of the pressure campaign.

“Fiona Hill’s testimony is riddled with speculation and guesses about any role that Mr. Mulvaney played with anything related to Ukraine,” his lawyer, Robert N. Driscoll, said in a statement. But the statement did not explain what role he did play, leaving the committee to guess.

In Mr. Mulvaney’s case, he has made statements that Democrats, at least, will consider evidence even if it was not under oath. During a briefing for reporters last month, Mr. Mulvaney admitted that Mr. Trump suspended $391 million in American security aid to Ukraine in part to force Ukraine to investigate a debunked conspiracy theory involving Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Mulvaney later tried to take it back.

Those comments as well as statements by the offices of officials like Mr. Pence and Energy Secretary Rick Perry raise the question of whether they have effectively waived any claim of immunity from testifying because they have publicly addressed the matter, according to lawyers. But Democrats may not take the time to litigate the question.

Representative Tom Malinowski, a New Jersey Democrat who serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee that was involved in the Ukraine investigation at an earlier stage, pointed to Mr. Mulvaney’s public acknowledgment about the link between aid and an investigation as well as other testimony about figures like Mr. Bolton and Mr. Pompeo.

“I very much want to hear from them,” he said. “But if they lack the courage of their colleagues to testify under oath, we can assume that what we’ve learned about their views and actions is true.”

An impeachment proceeding is not the same as a criminal court process, of course, and the standard of evidence is not the same. The House can move forward with whatever evidence a majority considers sufficient. And to the extent that the processes can be compared, an impeachment would be the political equivalent of an indictment, signaling that there is enough evidence to merit a trial in the Senate, though not necessarily enough to convict.

Still, even in the relatively quick investigation conducted in the two months since Ms. Pelosi formally opened the impeachment inquiry, the basic facts of what happened have been established and to a greater or lesser degree verified by different witnesses.

“The reality is there’s not much ambiguity about what took place here,” Mr. Buck said. “We know what happened, and now members and voters have to decide whether it rises to the level of removing him.”

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Sondland Says He Followed Trump’s Orders to Pressure Ukraine

WASHINGTON — An ambassador at the center of the House impeachment inquiry testified on Wednesday that he was following President Trump’s orders, with the full knowledge of other top administration officials, when he pressured the Ukrainians to conduct investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals in what he called a clear “quid pro quo.”

Gordon D. Sondland, Mr. Trump’s envoy to the European Union, told the House Intelligence Committee that he reluctantly followed Mr. Trump’s directive. He testified that the president instructed him to work with Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, as he pressured Ukraine to publicly commit to investigating former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and an unsubstantiated theory that Democrats conspired with Kyiv to interfere in the 2016 election.

“We followed the president’s orders,” Mr. Sondland said.

His appearance amounted to an act of defiance by an official who has been described by other witnesses as a point man in the push to extract the investigations. In his testimony, Mr. Sondland linked the most senior members of the Trump administration to the effort — including the vice president, the secretary of state, the acting chief of staff and others. He said they were informed of it at key moments, an account that severely undercut Mr. Trump’s frequent claims that he never pressured Ukraine.

Instead, Mr. Sondland, a wealthy Republican megadonor, described an expansive effort to help the president do just that.

Later on Wednesday, a Defense Department official, Laura K. Cooper, testified that Ukrainian officials may have known as early as late July that a $391 million package of security assistance was being withheld by the Trump administration.

The testimony by Ms. Cooper called into question another central element of the president’s defense: that there was no pressure because Ukrainian officials were unaware that the money was frozen.

Two months into the investigation, Mr. Sondland’s account came as close as investigators have gotten to an admission from an official who dealt directly with Mr. Trump. But Mr. Sondland’s accounts have shifted since the committee first deposed him in October, opening him up to Republican criticism that he is not credible.

Mr. Sondland has repeatedly claimed not to have recalled key episodes, and he conceded during testimony on Wednesday that he did not record precisely what had happened. He blamed the State Department for not providing him with all his emails, call logs and other records.

Still, he offered revelations and had the evidence to corroborate them.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on parts of the pressure campaign, Mr. Sondland testified, and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, was deeply involved. They understood, as he did, that there was a quid pro quo linking a White House meeting for President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to a promise by him to announce investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals, he said.

“I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a quid pro quo?” Mr. Sondland said. “As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.”

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

Mr. Sondland testified that he came to believe that Mr. Trump was also linking congressionally approved military assistance to Ukraine with a public commitment by Mr. Zelensky to investigate Mr. Trump’s political adversaries. Mr. Sondland said he informed Vice President Mike Pence of his concern about that connection during a Sept. 1 meeting in Warsaw.

Ms. Cooper testified that Ukrainian officials had reached out to the State and Defense Departments with questions about the status of the military funding on July 25, only hours after Mr. Trump pressed Mr. Zelensky during a phone call for the investigations. Republicans have insisted that Ukraine did not know that the aid had been held up until it was reported in the news media in late August.

Beyond the evolving timeline, Mr. Sondland’s testimony raised questions about whether the other top administration figures he mentioned — including Mr. Pompeo, Mr. Mulvaney and John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser — would come forward to testify.

The Trump administration tried to block the testimony of Mr. Sondland, Ms. Cooper and David Hale, the No. 3 State Department official, who also appeared on Wednesday, and refused to allow Mr. Sondland access to certain documents, he said, which it also withheld from the committee despite a subpoena.

Democrats pointed to the administration’s stonewalling as yet another piece of evidence for an impeachment article against Mr. Trump for obstruction of Congress.

“It goes right to the heart of the issue of bribery, as well as other potential high crimes and misdemeanors,” Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, told reporters during a brief break in the hearing.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_164733612_e5708ec4-1796-48de-86b5-683d6dc1b534-articleLarge Sondland Says He Followed Trump’s Orders to Pressure Ukraine United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Sondland, Gordon D (1957- ) Pompeo, Mike Perry, Rick Pence, Mike Mulvaney, Mick impeachment House Committee on Intelligence Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

Representatives Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Devin Nunes, the panel’s top Republican, listening to Mr. Sondland’s testimony.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Republicans, moving to discredit Mr. Sondland, seized on his assertion that Mr. Trump never personally or explicitly told him about conditions on the White House meeting or the security assistance. Mr. Sondland said under questioning that he came to the conclusion on his own.

Representative Michael R. Turner, Republican of Ohio, hammered on the point, his voice rising as he sharply questioned the ambassador.

“No one told you? Not just the president — Giuliani didn’t tell you, Mulvaney didn’t tell you, nobody?” Mr. Turner demanded. “Pompeo didn’t tell you?

“No one on this planet told you that President Trump was tying aid to investigations,” he added. “Yes or no?”

“Yes,” Mr. Sondland responded.

The ambassador, who smiled often during his appearance and cheerfully admitted to a flair for colorful language and frequent use of “four-letter words” in his conversations with Mr. Trump, appeared to relish pulling other top officials into the spotlight. For weeks, Republicans had cast him as a rogue actor.

“The suggestion that we were engaged in some irregular or rogue diplomacy is absolutely false,” he said, pointing to messages and phone calls in which he kept the White House and the State Department informed of his actions.

Some of the senior officials who figured prominently in Mr. Sondland’s testimony quickly challenged his account, and Mr. Trump tried to distance himself from the ambassador.

“I don’t know him very well — I have not spoken to him much,” Mr. Trump told reporters before leaving for Texas on Wednesday afternoon.

Holding a page of notes scrawled in marker in large block letters, Mr. Trump quoted Mr. Sondland’s closed-door deposition in which the ambassador described a phone call in which the president had told him he did not want a quid pro quo.

Before boarding Marine One, Mr. Trump shouted, “This is the final word from the president of the United States.”

The White House press secretary later put out a statement saying that Mr. Sondland’s testimony “completely exonerates President Trump of any wrongdoing.”

Through an aide, Mr. Pence denied that the two men had spoken one-on-one.

“There was never a time when Sondland was alone with the vice president in Warsaw, and if he’s recalling the pre-briefing, I was in that, and he never said anything in that venue either,” said Marc Short, Mr. Pence’s chief of staff.

Defying the State Department’s wishes, Mr. Sondland shared previously unseen emails and texts that demonstrated how he kept Mr. Pompeo and other administration officials apprised of his efforts to push the Ukranians. In one of them, Mr. Sondland tells Mr. Pompeo about a draft statement in which the Ukranians would commit to the investigations, and about a plan to have Mr. Zelensky speak directly with Mr. Trump about the matter.

“The contents will hopefully make the boss happy enough to authorize an invitation,” Mr. Sondland wrote in an email to Mr. Pompeo.

A week and a half later, Mr. Sondland sent Mr. Pompeo another email asking whether he should arrange a meeting in Warsaw for Mr. Trump where Mr. Zelensky would “look him in the eye” and promise him the investigations, breaking a “logjam.”

Mr. Pompeo issued a statement that appeared intended to deny Mr. Sondland’s testimony, but that did not directly address the ambassador’s assertion that the secretary of state knew and approved of his efforts.

“Gordon Sondland never told Secretary Pompeo that he believed the president was linking aid to investigations of political opponents,” according to the statement from Morgan Ortagus, the State Department spokeswoman.

Mr. Sondland even took shots at Mr. Bolton, who other witnesses have said harbored deep concerns over the ambassador’s actions and repeatedly instructed subordinates to report them to White House lawyers.

“Curiously — and this was very interesting to me — on Aug. 26, shortly before his visit to Kyiv, Ambassador Bolton’s office requested Mr. Giuliani’s contact information from me,” said Mr. Sondland, who repeated himself and then paused to smirk before continuing with his testimony.

One of the more dramatic moments of the day occurred in the final hour in an exchange between Mr. Sondland and Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, Democrat of New York, who elicited a grudging admission from the ambassador that the investigations that Mr. Trump wanted would benefit him politically.

“See? It didn’t hurt a bit,” Mr. Maloney said, drawing a testy response from Mr. Sondland, who said he was trying to be “forthright.”

“It didn’t work so well the first time, did it?” Mr. Maloney shot back, referring to the multiple changes Mr. Sondland has made to his story.

“We appreciate your candor,” Mr. Maloney said, “but let’s be really clear on what it took to get it out of you.”

Reporting was contributed by Michael D. Shear, Emily Cochrane, Maggie Haberman and Zach Montague.

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Pompeo Emerges as a Major Trump Enabler in Ukraine Affair

Westlake Legal Group 20dc-POMPEO1-facebookJumbo Pompeo Emerges as a Major Trump Enabler in Ukraine Affair Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Sondland, Gordon D (1957- ) Schiff, Adam B Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Pompeo, Mike

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has for months deflected questions about whether the Trump administration demanded political favors from Ukraine in exchange for military aid. He has refused to explain why he recalled the American ambassador, declared that it was “inappropriate” for his diplomats to testify before Congress and declined to hand over documents to impeachment investigators.

On Wednesday, Gordon D. Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union, filled in the blanks: He said Mr. Pompeo and his top aides “knew what we were doing, and why,” and recited emails he wrote to Mr. Pompeo about the quid pro quo demanded by President Trump. “Everyone was in the loop,” Mr. Sondland said.

Mr. Sondland’s testimony has undercut any notion that Mr. Pompeo, the administration’s most powerful national security official, was not a participant in Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine. It also firmly places him at the center of one of the nation’s biggest foreign policy controversies in nearly two decades, since the debate over the intelligence that led to the war in Iraq.

Whatever Mr. Pompeo’s future plans, Mr. Trump’s secretary of state is now tied intimately to the Ukraine controversy. Even before Mr. Sondland’s testimony, Mr. Pompeo was rumored to be seeking an exit from the State Department, perhaps to run for a Senate seat in Kansas, his adopted home state, with an eye toward a presidential bid once Mr. Trump leaves the stage.

No matter what he does, Mr. Pompeo will almost certainly face charges that, at best, he abetted Mr. Trump in enlisting a foreign nation to help his 2020 campaign as the price for aid in a grinding war involving Russia in eastern Ukraine. At worst, Mr. Pompeo will be seen as coordinating and approving the demands that Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, announce investigations into dubious claims about the Biden family and 2016 election interference as the price for an Oval Office meeting and a resumption of American military aid.

Speaking before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, Mr. Sondland said that the State Department had not given him access to his own emails and telephone logs to prepare for his testimony, which would have allowed him to refresh his memory.

Mr. Pompeo was criticized by the chairman of the House panel, Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, in the opening moments of the hearing. Mr. Pompeo, he said, was engaged in a Watergate-style “obstruction of this investigation.”

“We have not received a single document from the State Department, and as Ambassador Sondland’s opening statement today will make clear, those documents bear directly on this investigation and this impeachment inquiry,” Mr. Schiff said. He added: “The knowledge of this scheme was far and wide. And included, among others, Secretary of State Pompeo.”

Mr. Schiff then issued a direct warning to Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo: “I will just say this, they do so at their own peril. I remind the president that Article 3 of the impeachment articles drafted against President Nixon was his refusal to obey the subpoenas of Congress.”

Mr. Pompeo admitted last month that he took part in the July 25 call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky, but has refused to talk in detail about his involvement in the matter. Yet several of his top diplomats have gone to Congress to pull back the curtains on Mr. Trump’s efforts, infuriating the president. State Department employees privately have cheered on those diplomats while criticizing Mr. Pompeo for what they call a failure of leadership.

Mr. Sondland noted that Mr. Pompeo and several of the secretary’s top aides received his emails about Ukraine. “On Aug. 22, I emailed Secretary Pompeo, directly copying Secretariat Kenna,” he said of one instance, referring to Lisa Kenna, the executive secretary. He also said Ms. Kenna would sometimes print out his emails on Ukraine addressed to Mr. Pompeo and “put them in front of him.”

Mr. Pompeo has told associates that he believes the impeachment testimonies are partly aimed at forcing him to play a Washington game that would end with him turning on the president to save his own career. And he refuses to participate, Mr. Pompeo has said.

On Wednesday, Mr. Sondland painted a picture of an activist secretary of state who was informed of attempts to force Mr. Zelensky to announce opening the investigations. Replying to the Aug. 22 email from Mr. Sondland, Mr. Pompeo even approved a plan to have Mr. Zelensky tell Mr. Trump at a scheduled meeting in Warsaw that Mr. Zelensky would pledge to move forward “on those issues of importance” to the president, Mr. Sondland said.

“We kept the leadership of the State Department and the N.S.C. informed of our activities,” Mr. Sondland said, referring to Mr. Pompeo and John R. Bolton, the national security adviser at the time who oversaw the National Security Council staff. “They knew what we were doing and why.”

He added, “State Department was fully supportive of our engagement in Ukraine efforts, and was aware that a commitment to investigations was among the issues we were pursuing.”

Mr. Pompeo appears to have kept his Ukraine and Russia policy staff in the dark on those efforts. In effect, that means diplomats outside the executive offices were trying to carry out the traditional American policy to support Ukraine against Russia — and get the military aid flowing — while Mr. Pompeo was involved in Mr. Trump’s efforts.

After helping Mr. Trump and Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, remove Marie L. Yovanovitch as ambassador of Ukraine — she championed anticorruption measures — Mr. Pompeo failed to inform the veteran diplomat he picked to succeed her, William B. Taylor Jr., of the political demands being made of Mr. Zelensky.

In testimony, Mr. Taylor described slowly uncovering the plan, and sending Mr. Pompeo a cable on Aug. 29 saying that withholding the aid was “folly.”

Even then, Mr. Taylor did not appear to know of Mr. Pompeo’s role.

“The Ukraine scandal is a great microcosm of how this administration’s real foreign policy machinery operates,” said Andrew S. Weiss, a former senior official at the National Security Council, State Department and Pentagon who advised on Russia and Ukraine. “Our allies and adversaries all know about this. Yet it’s just so dysfunctional to have people like Marie Yovanovitch and Bill Taylor spinning their wheels out in Kyiv while Pompeo and Giuliani indulged the president’s affection for baseless conspiracy theories and hand-to-hand political combat.”

In Brussels on Wednesday, Mr. Pompeo said he had not seen Mr. Sondland’s testimony. Under questioning by reporters, he also said he would not recuse himself from any decisions by the State Department to release documents related to the impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Pompeo repeated a broad answer he has given on questions about Ukraine. “I know precisely what American policy was with respect to Ukraine,” he said. “I was working on it, and I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman for the department, later disputed parts of Mr. Sondland’s testimony. “Gordon Sondland never told Secretary Pompeo that he believed the president was linking aid to investigations of political opponents,” she said. “Any suggestion to the contrary is flat-out false.”

On Wednesday evening, a Pentagon official provided new details about when the Ukrainians might have learned about the hold on military aid. Laura K. Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, told Congress that officials in Ukraine may have been aware by July 25 that security aid had been frozen — much earlier than previously known. That was the same day Mr. Trump talked on the phone with the president of Ukraine.

She said the Ukrainian Embassy asked her staff about the aid on July 25, and also cited emails from that day between members of her staff and State Department officials in which diplomats said the embassy knew about the hold.

As Mr. Sondland testified, Mr. Pompeo’s future came up at a separate congressional session, the Senate confirmation hearing of Stephen E. Biegun, the envoy on North Korea nominated to be deputy secretary of state. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat in the hearing, said Mr. Biegun could end up as acting secretary of state “for quite some time” given expectations that Mr. Pompeo would resign early next year to run for Senate.

He added that Mr. Pompeo could soon realize it is “untenable to continue making decisions” on agency documents related to impeachment, so Mr. Biegun might assume that responsibility.

Private testimony by David Hale, the third-ranking State Department official, has also implicated Mr. Pompeo. In spring 2019, Mr. Hale said, Mr. Pompeo looked into a right-wing campaign against Ms. Yovanovitch that had been orchestrated by Mr. Giuliani and his associates. Mr. Pompeo even called up Sean Hannity, the Fox News personality who is a Trump ally, to ask for details of wrongdoing by Ms. Yovanovitch, but concluded “there was no evidence,” Mr. Hale said, according to a transcript. (Mr. Hannity has denied any such call.)

Yet, in April, Mr. Pompeo complied with Mr. Trump’s demand to oust Ms. Yovanovitch. After she was suddenly ordered to fly back to Washington that month for meetings, Mr. Pompeo’s deputy delivered the news of her professional future. Mr. Pompeo has refused to defend her and the other top diplomats now under attack by Mr. Trump, leading to a quiet revolt against him by career officials and denunciations by former officials.

For many in the diplomatic corps, the latest testimonies confirm the troubling portrait of Mr. Pompeo that has emerged this year. Some say he should resign, to restore leadership and correct the agency’s direction.

“People are deeply concerned about the future of professional diplomacy,” said Virginia Bennett, a former acting assistant secretary of state. She said a former colleague had told her that “you can see it across the building, this kind of degradation of capability.”

Michael Crowley contributed reporting.

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Sondland, in Act of Defiance, Says He Followed Trump’s Orders in Ukraine Pressure Scheme

WASHINGTON — An ambassador at the center of the House impeachment inquiry testified on Wednesday that he was following President Trump’s orders with the full knowledge of several other top administration officials when he pressured the Ukrainians to conduct investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals, detailing a “clear quid pro quo” directed by the president.

Gordon D. Sondland, a wealthy Republican megadonor appointed by Mr. Trump as the United States ambassador to the European Union, told the House Intelligence Committee in sworn testimony that he reluctantly followed Mr. Trump’s directive to work with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, as he pressured Ukraine to publicly commit to investigating former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and an unproven theory that Democrats conspired with Kyiv to interfere in the 2016 election.

“We followed the president’s orders,” Mr. Sondland said.

In explosive testimony that amounted to an act of defiance by an official who has been described by other witnesses as a point man in the effort to extract from Ukraine the investigations Mr. Trump wanted, Mr. Sondland tied the senior-most members of the administration to the effort — including the vice president, the secretary of state, the acting chief of staff and others — saying they were informed of it at key moments.

Yet as striking as his account was, Mr. Sondland appeared on Wednesday as a highly problematic witness, one who has had to revise his account several times based on testimony from others, repeatedly claimed not to have recalled key episodes, and conceded before the committee that he did not take notes that could give him certainty about precisely what happened. Still, the revelations he offered were stunning.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on parts of the pressure campaign, Mr. Sondland testified, and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, was deeply involved. They understood, as he did, that there was a “clear quid pro quo” linking a White House meeting for President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to a promise by him to announce investigations into Mr. Trump’s political rivals, he said.

“I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a quid pro quo?” Mr. Sondland said. “As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.”

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

And Mr. Sondland testified that he grew to believe that there was another linkage being made by Mr. Trump, between vital military assistance approved by Congress for Ukraine and a public commitment by its president to investigate Mr. Trump’s political adversaries. Mr. Sondland said he informed Vice President Mike Pence of his concern about that connection during a Sept. 1 meeting in Warsaw.

Almost two months after House Democrats began their impeachment inquiry, Mr. Sondland’s account came as close as investigators have gotten to an admission from an official who dealt directly with Mr. Trump. But it came with the blemishes of Mr. Sondland’s shifting accounts that have evolved since the committee first deposed him in October, opening him up to criticism from Republicans who claimed he was unreliable and not credible.

Still, Democrats quickly seized on Mr. Sondland’s testimony as a bombshell.

“It goes right to the heart of the issue of bribery, as well as other potential high crimes and misdemeanors,” Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, told reporters during a brief break in the hearing.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_164733612_e5708ec4-1796-48de-86b5-683d6dc1b534-articleLarge Sondland, in Act of Defiance, Says He Followed Trump’s Orders in Ukraine Pressure Scheme United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Sondland, Gordon D (1957- ) Pompeo, Mike Perry, Rick Pence, Mike Mulvaney, Mick impeachment House Committee on Intelligence Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and Devin Nunes, the ranking member, listening to Mr. Sondland’s testimony.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Mr. Sondland, who smiled often during his appearance in the stately committee room, cheerfully admitting to a flair for colorful language and frequent use of “four-letter words” in his conversations with Mr. Trump, appeared to relish pulling other top officials into the spotlight with him after weeks of being cast by Republicans as a lone, rogue actor. If he was uneasy about wreaking havoc on the defense of a president for whom he still works, Mr. Sondland did not show it.

“The suggestion that we were engaged in some irregular or rogue diplomacy is absolutely false,” he said, pointing to messages and phone calls in which he kept the White House and the State Department informed of his actions. “Any claim that I somehow muscled my way into the Ukraine relationship is simply false.”

Mr. Sondland’s appearance was the centerpiece of a crammed week of testimony before the Intelligence Committee. Wednesday afternoon, two more officials — Laura Cooper of the Defense Department and David Hale of the State Department — were expected to deliver accounts related to the suspension of the security aid for Ukraine.

It could create new legal and political pressure on senior officials who either have refused to testify in the inquiry or have not yet been called, including Mr. Pompeo, Mr. Mulvaney and John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser.

Standing on the South Lawn of the White House while Mr. Sondland was still at the witness table, Mr. Trump tried to distance himself from the ambassador.

“I don’t know him very well — I have not spoken to him much,” Mr. Trump told reporters before departing on a trip to Texas.

Holding a page of notes scrawled in marker in large block letters, Mr. Trump read aloud from a section of Mr. Sondland’s closed-door deposition in which the ambassador described a phone call in which the president had told him he did not want a quid pro quo.

“This is the final word from the president of the United States,” Mr. Trump said, shouting to be heard over the hum of helicopter rotors. “‘I want nothing.’”

That conversation occurred after the White House was aware that a whistle-blower had filed a complaint alleging that Mr. Trump was abusing his power to try to enlist Ukraine to help him in the 2020 presidential election.

Through an aide, Mr. Pence denied that the two men had spoken as Mr. Sondland recounted.

“Ambassador Gordon Sondland was never alone with Vice President Pence on the Sept. 1 trip to Poland,” Marc Short, his chief of staff, said in a statement. “This alleged discussion recalled by Ambassador Sondland never happened.”

In the hearing room, Republicans tried to push past many of Mr. Sondland’s conclusions about the pressure campaign. They defended Mr. Trump’s interest in the Biden and 2016 investigations and focused their attention on Mr. Sondland’s assertion that Mr. Trump never personally or explicitly told Mr. Sondland about preconditions on the White House meeting or the security assistance being released.

“President Trump never told me directly that the aid was conditioned on the investigations,” Mr. Sondland said under questioning. “The aid was my own personal guess based, again, on your analogy, two plus two equals four.”

Mr. Sondland would not say whether he believed the president when he said no quid pro quo on a September phone call.

At times, representatives of both parties grew frustrated with Mr. Sondland, who has already significantly revised his earlier accounts and repeatedly pleaded a faulty memory as his interrogators tried to clarify particulars. Republicans, though, were eager to highlight Mr. Sondland as unreliable.

“You don’t have records,” said Steve Castor, Republicans’ staff lawyer. “You don’t have your notes because you didn’t take notes. You don’t have a lot of recollections. I mean, this is like the trifecta of unreliability.”

Still, on matters at the heart of the inquiry, Mr. Sondland’s account was singularly damning. He confirmed the contents of a July 26 phone call with Mr. Trump described by an official from the American Embassy in Kyiv and other witness testimony that Mr. Sondland had conveyed to Ukrainian officials that they would need to announce the investigations Mr. Trump wanted if they had hopes of getting a White House meeting or the $391 million in aid Mr. Trump held up.

Mr. Sondland said that he, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Kurt D. Volker, the special envoy for Ukraine, grudgingly worked with Mr. Giuliani on a pressure campaign “at the express direction of the president of the United States.” From his perch outside the White House, Mr. Giuliani was pushing for investigations into Mr. Biden and unproven theories that Ukraine aided the Democrats in the 2016 election.

“Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt,” Mr. Sondland said. “We all understood that if we refused to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine. So we followed the president’s orders.”

At another point, explaining how he came to understand that the United States relationship with Ukraine was contingent on the announcement of the investigations, Mr. Sondland said that “Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the president.”

Mr. Giuliani defied a subpoena from the House for written records in his possession related to his work in Ukraine, but Democrats never called him to testify because they did not want to give him a platform he would surely use to defend Mr. Trump and malign Mr. Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether Mr. Giuliani broke lobbying laws in his dealings with Ukraine. They are scrutinizing Mr. Giuliani’s role in the recall of the American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, as part of a broader campaign Mr. Giuliani waged to pressure the Ukranians.

Defying the State Department’s wishes, Mr. Sondland shared previously unseen emails and texts that demonstrated how he kept Mr. Pompeo and other administration officials apprised of his efforts to push the Ukranians. Mr. Sondland told Mr. Pompeo about a statement the Ukranians were considering putting out that would commit them to the investigations and a plan to have Mr. Zelensky speak directly with Mr. Trump about the matter.

Mr. Sondland and Mr. Volker had “negotiated a statement from Zelensky to be delivered for our review in a day or two,” Mr. Sondland said in the email. “The contents will hopefully make the boss happy enough to authorize an invitation.”

Mr. Sondland said that Mr. Zelensky was prepared to hold a news conference to make a public commitment to the investigations Mr. Trump sought.

A week and a half later, Mr. Sondland sent Mr. Pompeo another email that laid out a way they could satisfy Mr. Trump and break the “logjam” in relations between the Trump administration and the Ukrainians. Mr. Sondland believed that if Mr. Zelensky told Mr. Trump in a face-to-face meeting that he would conduct the investigations, Mr. Trump may release the aid.

“Should we block time in Warsaw for a short pull-aside for Potus to meet Zelensky?” Mr. Sondland wrote, referring to the president. He added that he wanted Mr. Zelensky “to look him in the eye.”

“Yes,” Mr. Pompeo said in an email response.

Mr. Trump later called off the meeting because of Hurricane Dorian.

In another email, Mr. Sondland showed that he informed Mr. Trump’s top aides that Mr. Zelensky was likely to commit to the investigations when he and Mr. Trump spoke by phone in July. The call that eventually took place, on July 25, is the heart of the House inquiry and includes Mr. Trump asking Mr. Zelensky to investigate the 2016 issue and the Bidens.

“I talked to Zelensky just now. He is prepared to receive Potus’ call,” Mr. Sondland wrote, in advance in an email to Mr. Pompeo, Mr. Mulvaney and other senior aides. “Will assure him he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will ‘turn over every stone.’”

Mr. Mulvaney responded by saying he had asked the National Security Council to set up the call for the next day.

Mr. Sondland even took shots at Mr. Bolton, who other witnesses have said harbored deep concerns over the ambassador’s actions and repeatedly instructed subordinates to report them to White House lawyers.

“Before his visit to Kyiv, Ambassador Bolton’s office requested Mr. Giuliani’s contact information,” said Mr. Sondland, who repeated himself and then paused to smirk before continuing with his testimony.

Mr. Sondland sought to play down his own possible legal exposure created by the evolution of his testimony. He said he had not been allowed to have access to his State Department records or employ department personnel to prepare for his testimony. He also described how frequent contacts with foreign leaders clouded his memories of specific conversations.

Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

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Sondland Kept Pompeo Informed on Ukraine Pressure Campaign

Westlake Legal Group 20dc-sondland-1-facebookJumbo Sondland Kept Pompeo Informed on Ukraine Pressure Campaign Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Sondland, Gordon D (1957- ) Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Presidential Election of 2020 Presidential Election of 2016 Pompeo, Mike Holmes, David (Diplomat) Giuliani, Rudolph W Burisma Holdings Ltd Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

WASHINGTON — Gordon D. Sondland, the diplomat at the center of the House impeachment inquiry, kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo apprised of key developments in the campaign to pressure Ukraine’s leader into public commitments that would satisfy President Trump, two people briefed on the matter said.

Mr. Sondland informed Mr. Pompeo in mid-August about a draft statement that Mr. Sondland and another American diplomat had worked on with the Ukrainians that they hoped would persuade Mr. Trump to grant Ukraine’s new president the Oval Office meeting he was seeking, the people said.

Later that month, Mr. Sondland discussed with Mr. Pompeo the possibility of pushing the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to pledge during a planned meeting with Mr. Trump in Warsaw that he would take the steps being sought by Mr. Trump as a way to break the logjam in relations between the two countries, the people said.

Mr. Pompeo expressed his approval of the plan, they said, but Mr. Trump later canceled his trip to Poland.

The disclosures link Mr. Pompeo more directly to the Trump administration’s pressure campaign on Ukraine. It is not clear how specific Mr. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, was in his communications with Mr. Pompeo about what was being asked of the Ukrainians.

But Mr. Pompeo was among those who had listened in on a call between the two leaders on July 25, when Mr. Trump explicitly asked Mr. Zelensky for investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and into a debunked conspiracy theory about Ukrainian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. A lawyer for Mr. Pompeo declined to comment.

Mr. Sondland is scheduled to testify on Wednesday in the impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump, and he is expected to face tough questioning about gaps and misleading statements in the deposition he provided the committee last month. Mr. Sondland is sure to be grilled in particular about his failure to tell the committee about a phone call on July 26 with the president in which Mr. Trump, according to another American diplomat who overheard the call, asked Mr. Sondland if Mr. Zelensky had agreed to the investigation of Mr. Biden.

Mr. Sondland later told the diplomat, David Holmes, that when it came to Ukraine, Mr. Trump was only interested in “big stuff” that would benefit him, like the “Biden investigation” that his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was pushing for.

Mr. Sondland’s exchanges with Mr. Pompeo suggest that he could use his testimony to counter the testimonies of other administration officials, who have said that Mr. Sondland was part of a team operating outside of normal foreign policy and national security channels that sought to do the bidding of Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani.

In August, Mr. Sondland and the special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt D. Volker, were in negotiations with a top Ukrainian official, Andriy Yermak, about a public statement making a commitment to investigating Mr. Biden and the energy company Burisma, which had placed Mr. Biden’s son Hunter Biden on its board. Mr. Giuliani had been pressing for that commitment and for Mr. Trump’s request that Mr. Zelensky’s government look into whether Ukrainians, not Russians, were behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

Mr. Sondland and Mr. Volker have testified that they sought to get the Ukrainians to release the statement in order to satisfy Mr. Giuliani and, by extension, Mr. Trump, and to reset relations between the two countries. The Ukrainians never did it.

Mr. Pompeo has said little publicly about what he knew about the pressure campaign on Ukraine, but he has publicly criticized the Democrats’ impeachment investigation, claiming that it has been unfair to Mr. Trump and the State Department. The secretary of state had acceded to Mr. Trump’s order in the spring that he recall the United States ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, who had been the target of a campaign of criticism involving Mr. Giuliani and two of his associates.

While Mr. Pompeo heard Mr. Trump make his demands for the investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 election on the July 25 call with Mr. Zelensky, it is not clear what he knew, or when, about the freeze over the summer of $391 million in United States military aid to Ukraine.

After a meeting on Sept. 1 between Mr. Pence and Mr. Zelensky in Warsaw, Mr. Sondland told Mr. Yermak that the resumption of the aid was tied to an agreement by Ukraine to make a commitment to the investigations sought by Mr. Trump, according to testimony made to the House impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Sondland is one of the few witnesses who spoke directly with Mr. Trump about Ukraine, making his testimony especially important for Democrats. Republicans are expected to try to undercut his credibility by laying out an array of discrepancies in it.

Mr. Sondland initially told the committee that he believed there was no link between the investigations Mr. Trump wanted and the release of the military aid. But two weeks after he was deposed, Mr. Sondland amended his testimony, and said the reverse.

After he did that, new witnesses came forward to describe events Mr. Sondland had not told the committee about. Among them was Mr. Holmes, a State Department staff member in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, who said in his deposition to the House Intelligence Committee that he overheard the call Mr. Sondland had with Mr. Trump in July after Mr. Sondland met with Mr. Zelensky.

“President Zelensky ‘loves your ass,’” Mr. Holmes said he heard Mr. Sondland tell Mr. Trump.

“I then heard President Trump ask, ‘He’s going to do the investigation?’” Mr. Holmes said.

“‘He’s going to do it,’” Mr. Holmes said Mr. Sondland responded.

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