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Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report

Gordon SondlandGordon SondlandGraham's 'impeach Kamala' drumbeat will lead Republicans to a 2022 defeat GOP chairman vows to protect whistleblowers following Vindman retirement over 'bullying' Top Democrat slams Trump's new EU envoy: Not 'a political donor's part-time job' MORE, President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE's ambassador to the European Union, reportedly kept top officials in the Trump administration updated on efforts to persuade Ukraine to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors Biden celebrates vaccine approval but warns 'current improvement could reverse' MORE ahead of Trump's much-publicized July call with the country's president.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Sondland updated officials, including acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyOMB nominee gets hearing on Feb. 9 Republicans now 'shocked, shocked' that there's a deficit Financial firms brace for Biden's consumer agency chief MORE and Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryRepublicans see Becerra as next target in confirmation wars OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Five things to know about Texas's strained electric grid | Biden honeymoon with green groups faces tests | Electric vehicles are poised to aid Biden in climate fight Five things to know about Texas's strained electric grid MORE, via email on the results of his efforts, which have become the center of House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

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The report comes as top officials, including former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchBlinken tells State Department staff 'I have your back' Trump has discussed possible pardons for three eldest children, Kushner: report Former Giuliani associates plead not guilty to new fraud charges MORE, have testified that they were uncomfortable with a "shadow" foreign policy seemingly being run out of the White House by Trump and his personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiBiden administration buys 100,000 doses of Lilly antibody drug NAACP president accuses Trump of having operated under 'white supremacist doctrine' MyPillow CEO says boycotts have cost him M MORE.

The White House's effort to push Ukraine to investigate Biden has been viewed by Democrats as an attempt to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election. Lawmakers have also taken issue with reports that the administration held up aid to Ukraine on the condition of the country launching an investigation.

Trump and his allies have consistently denied that aid to Ukraine, which has been embroiled in conflicts with Russian-backed rebels in Crimea for years, was ever tied to an investigation of Biden. They also argue such an investigation was not tied to Biden's entrance in the 2020 Democratic presidential race.