Sondland to tell Congress that contents of 'no quid pro quo' text came from Trump: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE's ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, plans to tell Congress this week that a text he sent denying a quid pro quo between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July phone call was dictated by Trump himself.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that a source familiar with the ambassador's planned testimony told the newspaper that Sondland plans to testify that Trump told him in a phone conversation to tell the acting ambassador to Ukraine that he didn’t "want a quid pro quo … didn’t want anything from Ukraine" in exchange for military aid.


Regarding whether that is actually true, the person said, Sondland will not take an opinion and instead will tell lawmakers that he worked at the direction of Trump's lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGrand jury adds additional counts against Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and and Igor Fruman Juan Williams: Breaking down the debates Giuliani criticizes NYC leadership: 'They're killing this city' MORE to secure a statement from Ukraine's government confirming a criminal investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Trump expects to nominate woman to replace Ginsburg next week Video of Lindsey Graham arguing against nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year goes viral MORE.

Trump and his allies have defended their efforts to persuade Ukraine to launch the investigation by insisting that the White House did not order the Pentagon to hold up millions of dollars in military aid to the country on the condition of an investigation being launched.

Democrats have argued that such a quid pro quo did exist and that Trump abused the powers of the presidency by approaching Ukraine's government about launching such an investigation.

Sondland is expected to testify before three House committees on Thursday, defying an order from the State Department not to comply with Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

"Ambassador Sondland believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States, and he stands ready to answer the Committee’s questions fully and truthfully," his attorney said in a statement this week.

This report was updated on Oct. 13 at 6:28 a.m.