Donald Trump's chief of staff summoned to testify in impeachment probe

Key Donald Trump impeachment witness changes testimony over Ukraine 'quid pro quo'

US envoy Gordon Sondland reverses impeachment testimony, says he knew of Ukraine quid pro quo

Sondland also told investigators Trump almost hung up on him when he asked specifically whether the White House was withholding military aid for the investigation.

Gordon Sondland, the US Ambassador to the European Union, has acknowledged that $500 million in military aid to Ukraine was directly linked to the former Soviet nation making a public promise to investigate corruption - the so-called quid pro quo that is the focus of impeachment.

In the transcripts and accompanying cache of text messages, United States diplomats are shown trying to navigate the demands of Mr Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who they soon learn is running a back-channel U.S. foreign policy on Ukraine.

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Lexington, Ky., for a campaign rally.

Mr Sondland, in an addendum to his sworn earlier testimony, said that military assistance to America's East European ally was being withheld until Ukraine's new president agreed to release a statement about fighting corruption as Mr Trump wanted.

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Volker told investigators that he and former United States ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland had "a conversation with Rudy to say: The Ukrainians are looking at this text".

Sondland said Trump was in a "bad mood".

US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland said he knew that the Trump administration withheld almost US$400 million (S$540 million) in American aid while pressuring Ukraine to investigate President Donald Trump's political rivals, according to an excerpt of his testimony released on Tuesday (Nov 5).

In his revised testimony, Sondland says his memory was refreshed by the opening statements of two other key witnesses who have testified in the impeachment inquiry. "I want Zelenskiy to do the right thing".

Senate Republicans have so far shown little appetite for removing the president.

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"I didn't think I would be able to go to Ukraine or meet with Russians and be able to carry out those duties in that way anymore", he said.

Mr Mulvaney is the highest-ranking White House official to be summoned in the probe, although he is unlikely to comply given the White House's opposition to administration officials cooperating with investigators.

"The investigation has revealed that you may have been directly involved in an effort orchestrated by President Trump, his personal agent, Rudolph Giuliani and others to withhold a coveted White House meeting and almost $400 million ($580 million AUD) in security assistance in order to pressure (Ukraine) to pursue investigations that would benefit President Trump's personal political interests", they wrote.

Trump says he did nothing wrong, and Mulvaney later walked back his remarks. It is uncertain if Mulvaney will appear. He testified to the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight panels for more than eight hours behind closed doors on Oct 3.

On the Trump-Zelensky call, details of which were previously released by the White House, the USA president also described Ms Yovanovitch as "bad news".

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Text messages from the two men, along with another diplomat, William Taylor, who also testified in the impeachment inquiry, revealed in striking detail the administration's actions toward Ukraine.

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