Sondland criticizes Trump over efforts to pressure Ukraine

Mr. Sondland’s prepared testimony includes criticism of the president and his handling of U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine on a number of fronts, including Mr. Trump’s request in a July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Ukraine investigate Joe Biden and the president’s decision to withhold nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine about a week before that call. He said he “regretted” the departure of Marie Yovanovitch, whom Mr. Trump this spring ousted as ambassador to Ukraine after Mr. Giuliani raised concerns about her. Mr. Sondland described her as an “excellent diplomat” and a “delight to work with.”

“Inviting a foreign government to undertake investigations for the purpose of influencing an upcoming U.S. election would be wrong. Withholding foreign aid in order to pressure a foreign government to take such steps would be wrong,” Mr. Sondland said in his prepared testimony. “I did not and would not ever participate in such undertakings. In my opinion, security aid to Ukraine was in our vital national interest and should not have been delayed for any reason.”