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 John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days 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 VolkerGOP senators request details on Hunter Biden's travel for probe Yovanovitch retires from State Department: reports Live coverage: Senators enter second day of questions in impeachment trial 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 BidenJoe BidenOn The Money: Economists flabbergasted after Congress leaves with no deal | Markets rise as the economy struggles | Retail sales slow in July Congress exits with no deal, leaving economists flabbergasted Trump touts NYC police union endorsement: 'Pro-cop all the way' MORE, 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 PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUN Security Council rejects US bid to extend Iran arms embargo Overnight Defense: US seizes Iranian fuel bound for Venezuela | Progressives cool on Biden's foreign policy | Takeaways from Israel, UAE opening diplomatic ties Whiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire 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.