Speed Reads

Trump impeachment hearings

Fiona Hill confirms she had concerns when Sondland told her Trump 'put him in charge' of Ukraine relations

President Trump apparently put a man he doesn't know in charge of relations with a particularly volatile foreign country.

When U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland amended his impeachment testimony in a way that suggested the existence of a quid pro quo, Trump gave his appointee the "I don't know him" treatment. But as former National Security Council adviser Fiona Hill testified Wednesday, Trump didn't just know Sondland. He put him "in charge of Ukraine," Hill said.

When Sondland, a donor to Trump's inauguration, first emerged as a major player in U.S. relations with Ukraine after the ouster of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, Hill told the Republicans' counsel Thursday that she had "concerns." Hill later confronted Sondland about those concerns, asking him "what was his role here?" she said. Sondland apparently said "he was in charge of Ukraine," and when Hill asked "who put you in charge?," Sondland said "the president."

Trump was looking to get at least two investigations started in Ukraine around the time of this conversation — a pretty big ask of someone he doesn't even know.