Gordon Sondland, impeachment witness, denies sexual misconduct allegations
U.S. ambassador to EU 'retaliated … professionally' against women after advances rejected, article alleges
Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union who testified in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, denied allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by multiple women on Wednesday.
An article co-published by ProPublica and the magazine Portland Monthly raised allegations from three women against Sondland. In each instance, the women said Sondland "retaliated against them professionally after they rejected his advances."
Sondland denied the allegations and said he intends to bring a lawsuit against the publications, according to a statement posted on his website. The statement described the article as "fundamentally false was produced with deceitful journalism methods far outside the bounds of basic ethical standards."
"Both the timing and sourcing of the reporting seem obviously intended to influence congressional proceedings in which Amb. Sondland is a witness," the statement read.
Sondland told House impeachment investigators on Nov. 20 that he worked with Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, on diplomatic efforts with Ukraine at the "express direction" of Trump.
Sondland, the most anticipated witness in the public impeachment probe, said he believed Trump was pushing for Kyiv to investigate Hunter Biden — son of his political rival Joe Biden — in return for an Oval Office meeting sought by the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.
Sondland said he later came to believe military aid for Ukraine was also being held up until the investigations were launched.
Sondland said Giuliani openly discussed how Trump wanted Ukraine to publicly announce investigations into alleged Ukraine cyberactivities related to the 2016 U.S. presidential election and into Burisma — the Ukraine gas company on whose board Hunter Biden sat — as a prerequisite for the coveted White House visit.
- An earlier version of this story said Joe Biden sat on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings. In fact, it was Hunter Biden, the former U.S. vice-president's son, who was on the board.Nov 28, 2019 9:26 AM ET
With files from The Associated Press