Former EU ambassador and impeachment witness sues Mike Pompeo and government for $1.8m in legal fees

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

A key witness from Donald Trump’s first impeachment investigation is suing the federal government and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for $1.8m in legal fees.

Gordon Sondland – whose bombshell testimony accused then-president Trump of offering a “quid pro quo” over military aid to Ukraine in exchange for dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter – alleges that Mr Pompeo failed to cover the cost of his legal fees as promised, according to a lawsuit filed in US District Court in Washington DC.

Mr Trump’s former ambassador to the European Union alleges that Mr Pompeo “made a legally binding promise, both individually and on behalf of the government” to pay his attorneys’ fees after he was subpoenaed to appear before a House of Representatives committee.

The former Secretary of State then allegedly “reneged” on the agreement after learning what Mr Sondland intended to tell members of Congress about Mr Trump and his aides and their pressure on Ukraine officials to announce investigations into the Biden family, according to the suit.

In previous testimony, Mr Sondland said he was unaware of the administration’s plans to withhold crucial US military assistance to Ukraine while demanding investigations into Mr Trump’s political revival. But he later submitted a change in his testimony, directly implicating Rudy Giuliani and several Trump administration officials.

Mr Giuliani “was expressing the desires of the president of the United States” when he demanded that Ukraine announce investigations into Mr Biden and the US federal probe into Russian interference in 2016 elections, Mr Sondland said as part of his 17-hour testimony in November 2019.

“We knew that these investigations were important to the president,” Mr Sondland said.

Mr Trump’s energy secretary Rick Perry and special envoy Kurt Volker “worked with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the president of the United States,” according to Mr Sondland.

“Was there a quid pro quo?” Mr Sondland said during his testimony. “With regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is, ‘Yes.’ ... Everyone was in the loop.”

Mr Trump was impeached in the House but acquitted in the Senate.

Before his meetings with lawmakers, Mr Sondland held a call with Mr Pompeo after he was told that the US Department of Justice and State Department would not represent him at his testimony, according to the suit.

Mr Sondland then retained private counsel for the hearings “to reconstruct all the materials needed and to prepare for this daunting task” throughout an investigation that was “highly fraught, highly charged, and highly risky with tremendous consequences,” according to the lawsuit. Mr Pompeo “promised without any qualification” that his legal fees would be covered, the suit claims.

He was recalled from his position in February 2020, days after Mr Trump’s acquittal.

The lawsuit alleges that the administration told Mr Sondland that it “appreciated his testimony” but “wanted to purge everyone remotely connected” to the impeachment proceedings.

After Mr Sondland refused to resign, “everything changed,” and the government has evaded efforts to recognise the agreement for his legal fees, the lawsuit claims.

The Independent has requested comment from Mr Pompeo’s attorneys.

Read More

Italy win the Eurovision Song Contest 2021

Key impeachment witness sues Pompeo over $1.8M in legal fees

Mississippi's last abortion clinic at center of US debate

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting