The Trump administration ordered the U.S. ambassador to the European Union not to appear at a scheduled Tuesday deposition on the Ukraine controversy, triggering a fiery new clash with House Democrats as part of their impeachment inquiry.
President Trump dismissed the deposition as a "kangaroo court," as he defended the decision to block Gordon Sondland from appearing at the closed-door session on Capitol Hill.
But the move, first reported by The New York Times, prompted new warnings from Democrats that such acts will be seen as obstruction of its investigation into the controversy surrounding Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told reporters Tuesday morning.
Sondland's attorney said that the order came from the State Department and he is disappointed that he would not be able to testify.
....to see. Importantly, Ambassador Sondland’s tweet, which few report, stated, “I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind.” That says it ALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2019