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Impeachment Hearing Live Updates: ‘Everyone Was in the Loop’ on Ukraine Pressure, Sondland Says

Peter Baker

“It is true that...

“It is true that the president speaks loudly at times,” he said. “It’s true that the president likes to use colorful language,” he added. The call did not strike him as significant at the time. “Actually, I would have been more surprised if President Trump had not mentioned investigations,” he said.

Mr. Sondland denied that a July 10 meeting at the White House with Ukrainian officials turned sharply tense, as others have testified in recent days.

Fiona Hill, then the senior director for Europe and Russia at the National Security Council, and her deputy for Ukraine policy, Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, previously told lawmakers that the meeting led to a confrontation over Mr. Sondland’s unconventional role in Ukraine policy.

When Mr. Sondland mentioned the need for investigations, the two officials said, John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, abruptly ended the meeting. When the others then went down to the Ward Room in the White House, Ms. Hill said she challenged Mr. Sondland about who put him in charge of Ukraine policy. The president, he replied. When she told Mr. Bolton what happened, Ms. Hill said, he directed her to report the matter to a White House lawyer.

Mr. Sondland said he did not remember that.

“Their recollections of those events simply don’t square with my own or with those of Ambassador Volker or Secretary Perry,” he said in his prepared testimony. “I recall mentioning the prerequisite of investigations before any White House call or meeting. But I do not recall any yelling or screaming or abrupt terminations as others have said.”

Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

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