Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, on Tuesday cancelled his scheduled testimony before House impeachment investigators looking into President Donald Trump’s activities involving Ukraine.
The State Department directed Sondland to cancel his scheduled testimony on Tuesday, according to a letter from his attorney.
Robert Luskin, the lawyer representing Sondland, said his client was ready to appear voluntarily to respond to the committee’s questions behind closed doors, but the State Department instructed the US ambassador to the EU to not show up. Luskin said Sondland had already worked out the logistics of his testimony with committee staff.
“Ambassador Sondland is profoundly disappointed that he will not be able to testify,” Luskin’s letter said. “Ambassador Sondland hopes that the issues raised by the State Department that preclude his testimony will be resolved promptly. He stands ready to testify on short notice, whenever he is permitted to appear.” House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said he will make a statement on Sondland’s cancellation.
A Washington Post poll showed 61% of respondents believe Democrats are “making a necessary stand against Trump’s actions” by opening an impeachment inquiry, and 53% said Democrats are “acting to uphold their constitutional duties.”
That result is good news for Democrats who are trying to present the impeachment process as a serious responsibility for elected officials confronting allegations of presidential wrongdoing.
Approval of how Democrats have handled the inquiry is split, with 49% of respondents saying they approve and 44% saying they disapprove. Republicans receive lower marks for their handling of the situation, with 33% of respondents approving and 56% disapproving.
Overall support for beginning the impeachment probe is at 58%, while 49% say the House should actually impeach Trump and recommend that the Senate remove him from office. The poll was conducted October 1-6 by the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.