Trouble for President Donald J. Trump deepened tonight when a U.S. Army officer assigned to the White House released prepared testimony saying that he was disturbed by Trump's demand that Ukrainian officials investigate his political opponent Joe Biden.
That draft statement, by Col. Alexander Vindman, includes a damning appraisal of the actions of Gordon Sondland, the Portland hotelier turned U.S. ambassador to the European Union.
Vindman testified that on July 10, Sondland delivered a demand to Ukrainian officials, and that national security advisor John Bolton and Vindman told Sondland to knock it off.
"Amb. Sondland started to speak about Ukraine delivering specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with the President, at which time Ambassador Bolton cut the meeting short," the draft statement says. "Following this meeting, there was a scheduled debriefing during which Amb. Sondland emphasized the importance that Ukraine deliver the investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma. I stated to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the NSC was going to get involved in or push."
As national news outlets immediately noted, Vindman's characterization directly contradicts Sondland's testimony that he didn't know the request he was conveying to the Ukrainians had anything to do with Biden.
In other words: If Vindman is telling the truth, Sondland appears to have perjured himself to Congress.
Jim McDermott, an attorney representing Sondland, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.