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Trump ousts Sondland and Vindman, two key impeachment witnesses

Trump removes 2 impeachment witnesses
Trump removes 2 impeachment witnesses 04:24

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union who testified during the House impeachment investigation, is out of a job, according to his attorney. Sondland's exit comes the same day Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official who also testified, was also ousted from his job.

In a statement, Sondland said, "I was advised today that the President intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union.

"I am grateful to President Trump for having given me the opportunity to serve, to Secretary Pompeo for his consistent support, and to the exceptional and dedicated professionals at the U.S. Mission to the European Union.  I am proud of our accomplishments.  Our work here has been the highlight of my career."

Sondland initially testified there was no quid pro quo over Ukraine aid and investigations into the Bidens, but revised his testimony before testifying publicly under oath.

"I know that members of this committee frequently frame these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a 'quid pro quo'?" Sondland testified.

"With regard to the requested White House call and the White House meeting, the answer is yes," he added. 

Sondland also testified that "everyone was in the loop" in the Ukraine saga. 

President Trump continued to insist Sondland said there was no quid pro quo, ignoring his later testimony. 

Sondland is no "never-Trumper," as the president has suggested some witnesses were — he donated $1 million to Mr. Trump's inaugural fund. 

Vindman's lawyer, David Pressman, said in a statement that his client was escorted out of the White House.

"There is no question in the mind of any American why this man's job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House. LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honor, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful," the statement said.

Vindman participated in the July 25 call between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which the president asked Zelensky to investigate a political rival. Vindman flagged concerns about the call to the NSC counsel.

Margaret Brennan and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.

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