Top Ukrainian official: Sondland did not link aid to investigation of Bidens

Ukraine's foreign minister told reporters on Thursday that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon SondlandGordon SondlandPompeo explodes at NPR reporter, asks if she could find Ukraine on a map Pompeo to meet with Zelensky in Ukraine amid impeachment trial Video becomes vital part of Democrats' case against Trump MORE did not link investigations into Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenSchiff closes Democrats' impeachment arguments with emotional appeal to remove Trump Conservative reporter on Sanders: He's not a 'yes man' Democrats feel political momentum swinging to them on impeachment MORE and his son with military assistance.

"Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and did not tell me exactly, about the relation between the [military] assistance and the investigations," Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told reporters, according to Interfax-Ukraine.


"I have never seen a direct link between investigations and security assistance. Yes, investigations were mentioned, you know, in a presidential conversation. But there was no clear connection between these events," Prystaiko added.

The House launched an impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE in September after revelations that the asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into the Bidens on a July 25 phone call. 

Democrats are looking into whether aid to Ukraine was dependent on whether Kyiv investigated the president's political rival. 

On Wednesday, the House held its first public impeachment hearing, during which William Taylor, chargé d'affaires to Ukraine, appeared. 

Taylor said during the hearing that someone on his staff overheard a July 26 call between Trump and Sondland during which Trump asked Sondland “about the investigations.” 

Sondland, according to Taylor, replied “the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.”

“Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine,” Taylor said. “Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden which Giuliani was pressing for.”

Taylor has previously testified in a closed-door session that it was his “clear understanding” that the aid to Ukraine was conditioned on Kyiv's investigation of the former vice president. 

Sondland last week amended his testimony to say that Trump's actions in Ukraine likely amounted to a quid pro quo. Sondland is scheduled to testify publicly next week.

Trump has denied these accusations and has decried the impeachment inquiry as a "witch hunt."