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Lawyers say US Ambassador to the EU will testify despite previous ban

Ambassador Gordon Sondland's attorneys say he has no agenda apart from answering questions 'fully and truthfully.'

WASHINGTON — Lawyers for Ambassador Gordon Sondland say he'll appear for an interview before a joint House committee taking depositions in the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump despite having been ordered by the State Department not to appear.

Sondland attorneys Robert Luskin and Kwame Manley say Sondland will honor a congressional subpoena and "looks forward to testifying" Oct. 17. The lawyers said Friday that Sondland has no agenda apart from answering questions "fully and truthfully."

Sondland is the sitting U.S. ambassador to the European Union and an employee of the State Department.

His lawyers say he also has been ordered to produce "relevant documents" but he won't be bringing documents with him. They say the State Department has sole authority to produce such documents and that Sondland hopes they'll be shared with the committees before his testimony.

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The State Department directed Sondland not to appear for his previously scheduled voluntary deposition on Tuesday. The joint House committee issued the subpoena for Sondland's testimony on Wednesday.

Credit: AP
FILE - In this July 10, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump is joined by Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, as he arrives at Melsbroek Air Base, in Brussels, Belgium.