US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland's opening statement explicitly tied President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the campaign to put pressure on Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
Here's what Sondland said about each, according to a copy of his prepared remarks:
- Trump: "Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the President of the United States. We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt. We all understood that if we refused to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine. So we followed the President's orders."
- Pence: "I mentioned to Vice President Pence before the meetings with the Ukrainians that I had concerns that the delay in aid had become tied to the issue of investigations ... During the actual meeting, President Zelensky raised the issue of security assistance directly with Vice President Pence. The Vice President said he would speak to President Trump about it."
- Pompeo: "Even as late as September 24, Secretary Pompeo was directing Kurt Volker to speak with Rudy Giuliani. In a WhatsApp message, Kurt Volker told me in part: 'Spoke w Rudy per guidance from S.' S means the Secretary of State."