The Latest: House committees set more impeachment interviews

Politics
Gordon Sondland

US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, center, arrives for a joint interview with the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the testimony by U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland to House committees investigation impeachment (all times local):

1 p.m.

Three House committees investigating impeachment have tentatively scheduled at least eight closed-door interviews next week, including one with Bill Taylor, the current top official at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

That’s according to a person familiar with the schedule who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the developing plans.

But it’s unclear whether the witnesses will appear, given that the White House is opposing the inquiry.

The schedule includes a mix of State Department officials and White House aides who lawmakers believe can shed light on President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

Taylor is scheduled for a deposition on Tuesday. Also invited to testify later in the week are two National Security Council officials, Alexander Vindman and Timothy Morrison. Officials from the Defense Department and White House’s Office of Management and Budget are invited, too.

—Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick

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9:30 a.m.

The U.S. ambassador to the European Union is distancing himself from President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Gordon Sondland, in prepared testimony to House committees investigating impeachment, says he was disappointed Trump directed him to work with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and that he believes it’s wrong to invite a foreign government to conduct investigations for the purpose of influencing American elections.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of Sondland’s prepared remarks.

Sondland is the latest current or former government official to appear before the House impeachment inquiry of Trump.

Sondland is saying he disagreed with Trump’s decision to involve Giuliani and that he didn’t know until later that Giuliani’s agenda included encouraging a Biden investigation.

Trump has denied doing anything wrong.

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12:05 a.m.

The U.S. ambassador to the European Union is the latest witness set to appear before Congress in its impeachment inquiry.

Gordon Sondland is scheduled to be interviewed behind closed doors by House lawmakers on Thursday.

His testimony is especially critical since text messages and statements from other witnesses place him at the center of carrying out President Donald Trump’s agenda with Ukraine, including his push for politically charged investigations.

House lawmakers have been hearing from other diplomats and administration officials, including from the State Department.

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