Speed Reads

Trump impeachment hearings

Trump and Sondland were overheard discussing 'the investigations,' U.S. diplomat William Taylor testifies

President Trump was overheard discussing "the investigations" the day after his infamous Ukraine call, U.S. diplomat William Taylor said Wednesday.

Taylor, acting ambassador to Ukraine, testified before the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday as part of the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry into Trump, which is examining whether the president improperly pressured Ukraine to open investigations that might help him in the 2020 election. The inquiry was opened following a whistleblower complaint sparked by Trump's July 25 call with Ukraine's president, during which he pushed for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.

Taylor in his Wednesday testimony revealed that on July 26, the day after this call, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland called Trump over the phone at a restaurant in the presence of Taylor's staff, and Trump could be overheard asking about "the investigations." Sondland told the president Ukraine was ready to move forward with them and then told a Taylor staffer that Trump "cares more about the investigations of Biden," according to the testimony.

Though Taylor had already testified before Congress privately, this episode had not been previously revealed, and he said Wednesday he only found out about it last week. "It is my understanding that the committee is following up on this matter," Taylor said. Brendan Morrow