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Gordon Sondland testifies to the House Intelligence Committee on Nov. 20. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

Three women have come forward with public accusations of sexual misconduct against EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland in instances that span from 2003 to 2008, prior to his position as a U.S. ambassador, ProPublica reports.

Why it matters: “I have nothing to say about what he did or didn’t do [involving Ukraine]. But if people are asking what his moral character is, I have one more piece of evidence for them," magazine publisher Nicole Vogel told ProPublica, while accusing Sondland of twice making unwanted sexual advances — in a hotel room and separately in his car — as he considered investing in her magazine in 2003.

Details: Jana Solis, who works in the insurance industry, accused Sondland of making two unwanted sexual advances after he hired her: in his home and at a penthouse at one of the hotels he previously owned. She alleges that Sondland screamed at her and reprimanded her at work a few days after he forcibly kissed her.

Natalie Sept, a former staffer for Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, accused Sondland of trying to kiss her against her will after he leaned in for a hug. Solis and Vogel also accused Sondland of forcibly kissing them after he asked for a hug.

  • In each of the allegations, "friends, family members or colleagues of the women recall being told about the encounters at the time," per ProPublica.
  • ProPublica co-published its article on the allegations against Sondland with Portland Monthly, which Vogel owns.

What he's saying:

"These untrue claims of unwanted touching and kissing are concocted and, I believe, coordinated for political purposes. They have no basis in fact, and I categorically deny them. There has never been mention of them in any form during the 10 to 16 years since they supposedly occurred, although such a complaint could easily have been aired through multiple channels. These false incidents are at odds with my character."
— Gordon Sondland, in a written statement given to ProPublica

Context: Sondland has been one of the break-out witnesses in the impeachment inquiry against President Trump so far.

Go deeper: Inside Gordon Sondland's pay-to-play power grab

Go deeper

60 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.

Jan. 6 committee recommends contempt charges against Bannon

Steve Bannon. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night recommending that former Trump aide Steve Bannon be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Why it matters: The resolution sets up a House vote to refer Bannon for potential criminal prosecution, signaling that the committee will not tolerate attempts by former President Trump and his associates to stymie the investigation.