Trump impeachment witness Gordon Sondland sues Mike Pompeo for $1.8million to cover the legal fees he spent when he testified about the Ukrainian investigation into Hunter Biden
- Former Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is suing ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for $1.8 million
- Sondland is suing Pompeo claiming the State Department said the government would pay Sondland’s impeachment-related legal fees
- ‘Everything changed,’ however, when Sondland testifed before Congress that there had been a ‘quid pro quo,’ the lawsuit said
- President Donald Trump held up military aid to Ukraine to pressure the president to announce an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden, Sondland testified
- Sondland was also asked to resign by one of Pompeo’s top aides and refused, getting fired by Trump instead after the president was acquitted
Former Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is suing ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for $1.8 million after the U.S. government didn’t pick up Sondland’s legal fees connected to his 2019 impeachment testimony.
The Washington Post reported Monday that Sondland filed a suit in federal court in the District of Columbia claiming that Pompeo reneged on his promise that the State Department would pay the tab.
The complaint said that Pompeo told Sondland government lawyers wouldn’t be made available to him, but the State Department would pay his legal fees if Sondland hired his own attorneys.
Former Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is suing ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claiming he reneged on a deal to pay Sondland’s legal fees. Sondland is seen testifying before the House Judiciary Committee in November 2019
Sondland is suing former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as Pompeo promised the then-ambassador that the government would pay his legal fees if he hired attorneys to prepare to testify before Congress, which had opened an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump
Sondland testified to Congress that there was a ‘quid pro quo,’ as President Donald Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to announce an investigation into Hunter (left) and Joe Biden (right), who was running for president, by holding up military aid
‘Everything changed,’ according to the lawsuit, after Sondland delivered his testimony, in which he acknowledged there was a ‘quid pro quo’ – that former President Donald Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine in order to pressure the president to announce an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
After Sondland testified, he refused to resign from his ambassador post, despite being asked to do so by Pompeo aide Ulrich Brechbuhl.
‘Ambassador Sondland confirmed he would not resign because he did not do anything improper. After that, everything changed,’ the lawsuit said.
‘Ambassador Sondland did not receive his attorneys’ fees, notwithstanding the promises from the State Department that the attorneys’ fees would be paid,’ it continued.
Sondland is asking that the U.S. government pay the fees or Pompeo pay them personally.
The suit argues that Pompeo should not receive immunity as a government official because his pledge ‘was self-serving, made entirely for personal reasons for his own political survival in the hopes that Ambassador Sondland would not implicate him or others by his testimony.’
It also says Sondland’s legal fees are so high because the Trump administration wouldn’t cooperate and held back acces to ‘materials essential to his preparation’ for the testimony he delivered in front of the House Judiciary Committee in November 2019.
Sondland said his legal team was forced to ‘reconstruct’ dates and itineraries that were necesary for his testimony.
The State Department did pay Sondland $86,040 to go toward his legal bills, but the suit says that fell short of Pompeo’s pledge of ‘full reimbursement.’
Sondland is the founder of Provenance Hotels and was a wealthy Trump donor before the now ex-president tapped him for an ambassadorship.
He was fired on February 7, 2020, two days after the Republican-held Seante acquitted Trump on the House’s impeachment charges.
Since Sondland’s firing, the government has ‘bobbed and weaved’ as the former ambassador has tried to get paid back for his attorneys’ fees, the suit says.