Ambassador Gordon Sondland Says He Will Defy State Department and Testify Oct. 17

The former Portland hotelier will honor congressional subpoena but will not provide documents to impeachment committee.

In a statement this morning, the Hon. Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, said he will testify in front of a joint congressional committee pursuing the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump on Oct. 17.

Sondland has been involved in the president's communications with Ukrainian officials and was summoned to testify earlier this week. After he arrived in Washington from his post in Brussels, however, U.S. State Department officials blocked his testimony. Congress responded by serving Sondland with a subpoena, which he says he will now honor.

Related: Eleven Things You May Not Know About Gordon Sondland.

Here's a statement provided this morning by Sondland's personal attorney, Jim McDermott.

On October 8, 2019, the U.S. Department of State directed Ambassador Gordon Sondland not to appear for his previously scheduled voluntary deposition before the Joint Committees of the U.S. House of Representatives. Ambassador Sondland had already traveled from Brussels to Washington to testify about the subject matter of the inquiry before being directed, at the last minute, not to appear.

On October 9, 2019, the Joint Committees issued a subpoena to Ambassador Sondland for his testimony. After consultation with Committee Staff, his testimony is now scheduled for Thursday, October 17. Notwithstanding the State Department's current direction to not testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the Committees' subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday. Ambassador Sondland has at all times acted with integrity and in the interests of the United States. He has no agenda apart from answering the Committees' questions fully and truthfully.

The Committees have also directed Ambassador Sondland to produce relevant documents. He respects the Committees' interest in reviewing all relevant materials; however, federal law and State Department regulations prohibit him from producing documents concerning his official responsibilities. Ambassador Sondland does not control the disposition of his documents. By federal law and regulation, the State Department has sole authority to produce such documents, and Ambassador Sondland hopes the materials will be shared with the Committees in advance of his Thursday testimony.