Trump Ousts Gordon Sondland, the EU Ambassador Who Testified There Was a Quid Pro Quo

Just hours after the White House dismissed National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his twin brother, Yevgeny.

Andrew Harnik/AP

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

On Friday, the White House dismissed yet another impeachment witness, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, as President Donald Trump continued his apparent retaliation campaign to oust members of his administration who testified against him. 

Sondland’s ouster comes just hours after the White House dismissed National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his twin brother, Yevgeny, and reassigned them to Pentagon roles.

Sondland’s congressional testimony reinforced a core part of the House investigators’ case for impeaching Trump. The investigation centered on whether the president abused his power and obstructed justice when he withheld military aid from Ukraine in exchange for investigations into political opponents.

“As I testified previously, Mr. Giuliani’s requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelensky,” Sondland said in testimony in November, referring to Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, who helped with the pressure campaign. “Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the President of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the President.”

The House later voted to impeach the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But the Senate voted this week to acquit the president, with Sen. Mitt Romney as the lone Republican to break party ranks and vote to remove Trump from office. On Thursday, during a rambling speech, Trump railed against his so-called political enemies, condemned the impeachment process as “evil,” referred to Romney as a “failed presidential candidate,” and lambasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former FBI director James Comey. 

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate