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Gordon Sondland. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland told House investigators last week the actions of President Trump and his allies over Ukraine "amounted to a quid pro quo," his attorney told the Wall Street Journal Saturday.

Why it matters: The issue of alleged quid pro quo involving Trump and Ukraine is central to the House inquiry into his possible impeachment. The president and his allies have long denied any quid pro quo took place.

  • Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, drew a direct line connecting congressionally approved military aid to Ukrainian interference in domestic U.S. politics when he appeared before House panels last Tuesday.

Flashback: Taylor said Trump conditioned the release of military aid on the Ukrainian president's willingness to promise to investigate gas firm Burisma, where former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden once sat on the board, and alleged interference in the 2016 election.

What they're saying: Per the Journal, Sondland’s attorney Robert Luskin said his client "told House committees that he believed Ukraine agreeing to open investigations into Burisma ... and into alleged 2016 election interference was a condition for a White House meeting between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky."

"Asked by a lawmaker whether that arrangement was a quid pro quo, Mr. Sondland cautioned that he wasn’t a lawyer but said he believed the answer was yes, Mr. Luskin said."
— Wall Street Journal

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

Screenshot: Fox News

President Trump has delivered a farewell speech and departed Washington for the last time on Air Force One, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

What's next: The inaugural celebration for young Americans is being livestreamed, starting at 10am.

Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump departs on final Air Force One flight

President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.