October 10—that's the day three House committees conducting an inquiry into whether President Donald Trump should be impeached want to hear from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.
Before entering diplomatic service, Sondland was founder and CEO of Provenance Hotels, which owns or operates six hotels in Portland. He contributed $1 million to Trump's inauguration and was appointed ambassador later in 2017.
As ambassador to the E.U., Sondland played two roles in Trump's communications with Ukrainian officials, according to a nine-page whistleblower complaint released last week. First, the whistleblower wrote, Sondland and other officials sought to "control the damage" being done by the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, as Giuliani operated outside diplomatic channels. Second, after Trump's July 25, 2019, telephone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump pressed for an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, Sondland traveled to Ukraine to follow up in person.
Via a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the chairs of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees last week summoned Sondland to Washington for an Oct. 10 deposition in which they hope to learn more about what Sondland knows. (Through a spokesman, Sondland declined to comment.)