EU ambassador testifies there was quid pro quo in impeachment investigation

Uncertainty over quid pro quo

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Gordon Sondland, a former hotel owner turned ambassador to the European Union, took the hot seat in the impeachment investigation Wednesday and delivered a critical statement for the Democrats.

"Was there a quid pro quo? As I testified previously with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes,” Sondland said.

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Sondland said senior officials widely understood that President Donald Trump was withholding aid to Ukraine unless the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, investigated political rivals.

"Everyone was in the loop,” Sondland said. “It was no secret."

But when Republicans questioned Sondland, they pointed out that his conclusion about a quid pro quo wasn’t based on a direct conversation with the president and said it was instead speculation.

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Sondland testified about a conversation he had with the president and said: "(President Trump) said, ‘I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. I just want Zelenskiy to do the right thing.’”

Shortly after Sondland made that statement, Trump quoted his testimony to reporters in an effort to maintain he did not take part in a quid pro quo.

"Here's my answer. 'I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo,'” Trump said.