Top Trump Impeachment Witness Registers as Foreign Agent for Ukraine

On Thursday, one of the star witnesses in the first failed impeachment of President Donald Trump registered as a foreign agent on behalf of Ukraine and the European Union (EU).

According to the Daily Caller, Gordon Sondland, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to the EU from 2018 to 2020, testified against President Trump in the 2019 impeachment inquiry. In his testimony before the House of Representatives Select Committee on Intelligence, he claimed with no evidence that President Trump intended to withhold aid to Ukraine unless it re-opened a corruption investigation into the controversial energy company Burisma Holdings, where Joe Biden’s son Hunter served on the board.

“Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’” Sondland stated during his testimony in November of 2019. “As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes. Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret.”

Sondland registered as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a law first passed in 1938 dictating how foreign agents and representatives are supposed to lobby American politicians compared to non-foreign lobbyists.

In a statement shortly after his registration was revealed, Sondland tried to justify his decision while also insisting that he did not have any foreign loyalties.

“This term ‘Foreign Agent.’ It sounds very sinister because that’s the way the FARA laws are written,” said Sondland. “You’re designated as a foreign agent. I’m not an agent of anyone. I haven’t been asked by Ukraine or the E.U. to represent them. I’m simply having conversations that everyone has all the time with members of Congress and with members of governments of other countries to try and bridge and divide.”

“My allegiance is still 100% to the United States, not to the European Union,” Sondland claimed. “Unfortunately, I can’t have these conversations without registering.”

There has been a massive increase in Ukrainian lobbying efforts in the United States since the start of its war with Russia in February of 2022. Biden and Congress have since sent billions in aid to Ukraine, even though Ukraine is not officially an ally due to not being a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO); there have been ongoing concerns about where much of the funding is going, with allegations of corruption and misuse of funds by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The first impeachment against Trump passed the House on December 18th, 2019. Trump, however, was acquitted by the Senate on February 5th, 2020. Shortly after his acquittal, President Trump fired Sondland.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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