2nd US Official Heard Trump Call with Sondland

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At the first public hearings of the impeachment inquiry, Taylor testified that a member of his staff, whom he did not name, was with Sondland at a restaurant on July 26 when the ambassador placed a call to Mr. Trump.

The second diplomatic staffer also at the table was Suriya Jayanti, a foreign service officer based in Kyiv.

Sondland, America's Trump-appointed ambassador to the European Union, this month gave key testimony to the impeachment inquiry that he told a Ukraine official U.S. military aid was contingent on Kiev investigating Biden. Sondland, in which they discussed whether to proceed with "the investigations".

Trump and his allies are accused by Democrat opponents of freezing almost $400 million in security aid to Ukraine to pressure President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to open investigations into Biden, Trump's main rival for the 2020 presidential race.

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Taylor testified that a member of his staff last Friday told him that on July 26 there was a meeting between Sondland and President Zelensky's aide Andrey Yermak.

William B. Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine, testified during public hearings Wednesday that some of his staff were at a restaurant with Sondland on the day after a July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine's new president.

Later that day, a Twitter account that appears to belong to Ukraine's then-Defense Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk posted a photo of himself at dinner with Sondland, Taylor and Ambassador Kurt Volker, who was then Trump's special envoy to Ukraine for peace negotiations.

Ukraine has always been among the countries of concern, particularly since a 2014 incident in which the US accused Russian intelligence of eavesdropping on and then leaking a recording of a conversation between two senior USA officials in Kyiv that led to great embarrassment and strains between the US and its European allies.

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The Associated Press reported a short while ago that more than one person heard the Trump/Sondland cellphone call.

On Wednesday, Taylor also said that Sondland told him in June that Trump would not meet with Zelenskiy at the White House until Ukraine opened a corruption probe of Biden.

Holmes' testimony comes directly after lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee heard from former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in the second public hearing of the impeachment inquiry. I do not recall any conversation with me as with foreign minister. People come forward with information along the way.

Marc Polymeropoulos, a former CIA official who oversaw the agency's operations in Europe and Russia, told CNN that there was "little doubt that the Russians and perhaps multiple other foreign intelligence services would have intercepted this call".

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