Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Marc Short issued a statement on Wednesday regarding Ambassador to European Affairs Gordon Sondland’s testimony. Under oath, before the House Intelligence Committee, in a public hearing, Sondland testified he and Pence had a conversation concerning military aid to Ukraine being dependent on an investigation into Burisma, the natural gas company that had Joe Biden’s son Hunter on the board.
“The vice president never had a conversation with Gordon Sondland about investigating the Bidens, Burisma, or the conditional release of financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations,” Short said in a statement on Nov. 20.
“Ambassador Sondland was never alone with Vice President Pence on the September 1 trip to Poland. This alleged discussion recalled by Ambassador Sondland never happened,” Short said.
He continued in his statement, “Multiple witnesses have testified under oath that Vice President Pence never raised Hunter Biden, former Vice President Joe Biden, Crowdstrike, Burisma, or investigations in any conversation with Ukrainians or President Zelenskiy before, during, or after the September 1 meeting in Poland,” he said.
During his sworn testimony Sondland said, “I mentioned to Vice President Pence before the meetings with the Ukrainians that I had concerns that the delay in [U.S. military aid to Ukraine] had become tied to the issue of investigations,” he added, “I recall mentioning that before the Zelenskiy meeting.”
“I don’t know exactly what I said to him,” Sondland said. “This was a briefing attended by many people, and I was invited at the very last minute—I wasn’t scheduled to be there. But I think I spoke up at some point late in the meeting and said it looks like everything is being held up until these statements get made, and that’s my, you know, personal belief.”
“And Vice President Pence just nodded his head?” Democratic counsel Dan Goldman inquired of Sondland.
“Again, I don’t recall any exchange or where he asked me any questions. I think he—it was sort of a duly noted,” Sondland said.