Trump fires Portland hotelier Gordon Sondland after acquittal
President Donald Trump has recalled Portland businessman Gordon Sondland as his ambassador to the European Union, shortly after the demise of the Congressional impeachment drive in which Sondland was considered a key witness.
Sondland's dismissal comes barely 48 hours after the U.S. Senate acquitted the president, whom the House of Representatives had impeached earlier this year.
"I was advised today that the President intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union," said a statement released by Sondland. "I am grateful to President Trump for having given me the opportunity to serve, to Secretary Pompeo for his consistent support, and to the exceptional and dedicated professionals at the U.S. Mission to the European Union. I am proud of our accomplishments. Our work here has been the highlight of my career."
Sondland in November famously testified that Trump had sought a "quid pro quo" in which Congressionally-mandated military aid to Ukraine would be withheld if Ukraine did not publicly announce an investigation into presidential candidate Joe Biden's son, Hunter, who held a lucrative position with a Ukrainian firm called Burisma.
"Everyone was in the loop," Sondland testified. "It was no secret."
Sondland, however, denied hearing that directly from Trump, saying he had "presumed" it, causing Republicans to attack him as going rogue and causing some critics to question whether he'd been fully candid.
Trump has also dismissed Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a Iraq war veteran who also testified during the impeachment hearings that the president had pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
After his testimony, Portland Monthly magazine published accusations from three women that Sondland engaged in sexual misconduct against them, seemingly exploiting his money or influence for sex.
Sondland denied those accusations and vowed to file lawsuits in response. No lawsuits have been filed.
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