Gordon Sondland Fired Despite Push Back From GOP Senators
Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union who testified against President Donald Trump in the House hearings, has been fired by the White House despite many Republican senators urging against it.
GOP senators were concerned firing Sondland would be bad for the president and argued that releasing him would be unnecessary since he was condsidering resigning. They suggested to the White House to let Sondland leave on his own terms to minimize public blow back.
Despite suggestions from the Senate, the president decided to force Sondland out anyway on Friday. State Department officials informed Sondland that he was to resign on Friday, but he refused, saying that he did not want to be a part of what appeared to be a clearing out of impeachment witnesses from the White House, according to people close to the matter.
Sondland told the State Department that if they wanted him removed that day he’d have to be fired. The president then recalled him from his position effective immediately. His removal from the White House came hours after another impeachment witness, Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, and his twin brother, Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, were escorted by White House officials.
Democrats were infuriated, calling the recent firings a “Friday night massacre” meant to get vengeance on White House officials who had no other choice but to follow the subpoenas that sought out their testimonies in Congress.
Other witnesses who have also left the White House include Jennifer Williams, an official working for Vice President Mike Pence, Marie L. Yovanovitch, the ambassador to Ukraine, and her successor William B. Taylor Jr.