Sondland opening statement: "We followed the president's orders"

Further implicating Pompeo, Sondland plans to testify that it was “based on my communications with Secretary Pompeo” that he felt comfortable telling a top Zelenskiy aide the funds likely wouldn’t be unfrozen until Ukraine committed publicly to the investigations sought by Trump. Those included probes into former Vice President Joe Biden’s family and alleged Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election…

Sondland’s testimony that they were carrying out Trump’s wishes — and briefing top officials along the way — may complicate any efforts to use him and Giuliani as buffers between the president and allegations of wrongdoing.

“Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the president,” Sondland will tell the House Intelligence Committee…

“We followed the president’s orders,” Sondland plans to testify about the president’s instruction to work with Giuliani.