President Donald Trump fired two key impeachment witnesses Friday, dismissing Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert at the National Security Council, and US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.
Lt Col Vindman, who had implicated Mr Trump in a quid pro quo to smear the president’s political rivals, was “escorted out of the White House” after Mr Trump said hours earlier he was “not happy” with the National Security Council’s director of European affairs and top Ukraine expert.
Sondland in a statement said: “I was advised today that the president intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union,
I am thankful to Mr. Trump for having given me the opportunity to serve.”
Sondland, during the impeachment hearings explicitly said Mr Trump had withheld aid from Ukraine in return for help cheating in the election, saying: “Was there a quid pro quo? The answer is yes.”
The testimony of the two men, and 15 other current or former officials, led the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives to impeach the president in December on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of congress.