Gordon Sondland becomes the 2nd impeachment witness to be fired by Trump

Gordon Sondland
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Not one but two witnesses who testified in the impeachment inquiry have now been fired within the span of about three hours.

After Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was dismissed from the National Security Council earlier today and escorted from the White House, U.S Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland announced Friday he had also been fired.

"I was advised today that the president intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union," Sondland said in a statement. "I am grateful to President Trump for having given me the opportunity to serve, to Secretary Pompeo for his consistent support, and to the exceptional and dedicated professionals at the U.S. Mission to the European Union."

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During the impeachment inquiry, Sondland provided key testimony saying that there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine "with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting," also alleging that "everyone was in the loop. It was no secret." Vindman also provided impeachment testimony, telling Congress that Trump's July phone call with Ukraine's president, on which he pushed for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, was "improper." In a statement Friday, Vindman's lawyer said that Trump "decided to exact revenge." Vindman's brother, who did not testify in the inquiry, was also fired from the National Security Council.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports that although Trump has been complaining about Vindman and Sondland for weeks, his "aides advised him to wait until the trial was over" to fire them. The firings came two days after Trump was acquitted in the Senate. A Trump adviser told CNN's Jim Acosta the president is "flushing out the pipes."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.