WASHINGTON (AP) — Gordon Sondland, the Trump administration’s ambassador to the European Union and a pivotal witness in 2019 impeachment proceedings, sued former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday in an effort to recoup $1.8 million he racked up in authorized bills.
Sondland alleges within the lawsuit, filed in federal courtroom in Washington, that Pompeo had dedicated to reimburse his authorized bills after he was subpoenaed by House Democrats to testify in an impeachment case that accused then-President Donald Trump of withholding navy assist from Ukraine whereas demanding an investigation into political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Instead, Sondland says, Pompeo “reneged on his promise” after studying the small print of Sondland’s testimony.
“With the contractual commitment of Pompeo having been abandoned apparently for political convenience, Ambassador Sondland turns to this Court to reimburse his attorneys’ fees and costs and make him whole,” Sondland’s lawyer, Mark Barondess, wrote in his lawsuit.
A spokesperson for Pompeo known as the lawsuit “ludicrous” and mentioned Pompeo was “confident the court will see it the same way.”
In testimony that Sondland’s lawsuit describes as “highly fraught, highly charged and highly risky with tremendous consequences,” he described for investigators how Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, explicitly sought a “quid pro quo” with Ukraine, leveraging an Oval Office go to for political investigations of Democrats.
Trump was impeached by the House however acquitted in February 2020 by the Senate.
Sondland was fired days after Trump’s acquittal “simply for telling the truth,” in accordance with the lawsuit. He says the unwillingness to cowl his authorized charges not solely represented a breach of dedication and “normal convention” however was additionally “especially problematic in this instance because the amount of preparation needed to comply with the subpoenas was staggering.”
“Ambassador Sondland retained a Washington, D.C. law firm well experienced in Congressional investigations that possessed the capacity to assist him, along with his long-time personal counsel, in preparation for his critically important testimony,” the lawsuit states. “Ambassador Sondland continued to rely on Pompeo’s individual promise, on behalf of himself and the Government, in seeking outside counsel and incurred nearly $1.8 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.”
The lawsuit was first reported by The Washington Post.
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