Democrats request testimony from US diplomat who questioned Trump motivations on Ukraine

Democrats request testimony from US diplomat who questioned Trump motivations on Ukraine
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House Democrats have reportedly requested testimony from the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, who questioned President TrumpDonald TrumpPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure A review of President Biden's first year on border policy  Hannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump MORE's motivations for withholding aid to the country. 

Democrats requested to depose diplomat William Taylor as part of their impeachment inquiry, but have not yet scheduled an interview with him or issued a subpoena, multiple sources familiar with the situation told CNN.  

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In text messages turned over to the House during a deposition from Kurt VolkerKurt VolkerThe Memo: Biden, bruised by Afghanistan, faces a critical test in Ukraine The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Schumer: Dem unity will happen eventually; Newsom prevails CNN obtains audio of 2019 Giuliani call linked to Ukraine meddling allegations MORE, who served as the special envoy to Ukraine, Taylor suggested U.S. military aid was being withheld from Ukraine for political reasons.

Trump had delayed the hundreds of millions in dollars in aid, which had been approved by Congress, just days before he pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading 2020 contender.

Taylor said in a Sept. 9 exchange that the delay of assistance had “shaken [the Ukrainians’] faith in us.”

“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” he added. 

U.S. Ambassador to the the European Union Gordon Sondland, who had reportedly spoken with Trump on the issue, replied that Taylor was "incorrect about President Trump's intentions" and said he believed Trump had no intention of a "quid pro quo."

Sondland then suggested he and Taylor stop texting on the subject.

Democrats on House committees looking into Trump have also requested that other State Department officials including Sondland testify, but Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoRussia suggests military deployments to Cuba, Venezuela an option The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - Winter is here for Democrats Overnight Defense & National Security — Nuclear states say no winners in global war MORE has sought to block their testimony.

The House has subpoenaed Sondland and he said in a statement Friday that he plans to testify next week in light of that development. It is possible Pompeo will try again to prevent Taylor from testifying.  

The Hill has reached out to the House committees and the State Department for comment. 

Taylor is the chargé d’affaires of the embassy in Kiev. He served as ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009.