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Pence's office denies he spoke with Sondland about investigations

Vice President Pence's office pushed back on Sondland's testimony Wednesday that he raised concerns that aid for Ukraine had become tied to Trump's desire for investigations.

“The Vice President never had a conversation with Gordon SondlandGordon SondlandGOP 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' Trump names new EU envoy, filling post left vacant by impeachment witness Sondland MORE about investigating the Bidens, Burisma, or the conditional release of financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations," Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, said in a statement 

Sondland said in his opening statement that he brought up the issue during a Sept. 1 meeting with Pence in Warsaw. However, Short denied the exchange ever took place. 

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“Multiple witnesses have testified under oath that Vice President Pence never raised Hunter Biden, former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Federal student loan payment suspension extended another month Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week MORE, Crowdstrike, Burisma, or investigations in any conversation with Ukrainians or President Zelensky before, during, or after the September 1 meeting in Poland," Short said.

Sondland told a staff counsel for Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee that when he raised the issue to Pence, the vice president essentially acknowledged his comments but did not inquire further about what he was talking about.

The ambassador's testimony affirmed that there was a quid pro quo tying a White House visit for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to a public declaration of investigations that Trump wanted. He added that "everyone was in the loop," indicating that numerous high-level officials were aware of the effort.

Pence's office has been quick to disassociate itself from potentially damaging testimony.

Jennifer Williams, a Pence aide detailed from the State Department, testified Tuesday that she found Trump's July 25 call with Zelensky to be "unusual." A short time later, Pence's office issued a statement from his national security adviser noting that she never raised those concerns with the vice president.