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 get nicely $1.8 million he racked up in authorized payments.
Sondland alleges within the lawsuit, filed in federal courtroom docket in Washington, that Pompeo had devoted to reimburse his authorized payments after he was subpoenaed by Home Democrats to testify in an impeachment case that accused then-President Donald Trump of withholding military help from Ukraine whereas demanding an investigation into political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
As a substitute, Sondland says, Pompeo “reneged on his promise” after finding out the details of Sondland’s testimony.
“With the contractual dedication of Pompeo having been deserted apparently for political comfort, Ambassador Sondland turns to this Court docket to reimburse his attorneys’ charges and prices and make him entire,” Sondland’s lawyer, Mark Barondess, wrote within the lawsuit.
A spokesperson for Pompeo known as the lawsuit “ludicrous” and acknowledged Pompeo was “assured the courtroom will see it the identical manner.”
In testimony that Sondland’s lawsuit describes as “extremely fraught, extremely charged and extremely dangerous with great penalties,” the then-ambassador described for investigators how Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, explicitly sought a “quid professional quo” with Ukraine, leveraging an Oval Workplace go to for political investigations of Democrats.
Trump was impeached by the Home nevertheless acquitted in February 2020 by the Senate.
Sondland was fired days after Trump’s acquittal “merely for telling the reality,” based mostly on the lawsuit. Since then, the criticism says, the federal authorities “has bobbed and weaved within the face of each try” by Sondland to be completely reimbursed for the authorized payments.
The swimsuit says the unwillingness to cowl Sondland’s authorized charges not solely represented a breach of dedication and “regular conference” nevertheless was moreover “particularly problematic on this occasion as a result of the quantity of preparation wanted to adjust to the subpoenas was staggering.”
“Ambassador Sondland retained a Washington, D.C. legislation agency nicely skilled in Congressional investigations that possessed the capability to help him, alongside along with his long-time private counsel, in preparation for his critically necessary testimony,” the lawsuit states. “Ambassador Sondland continued to depend on Pompeo’s particular person promise, on behalf of himself and the Authorities, in in search of exterior counsel and incurred practically $1.8 million in attorneys’ charges and prices.”
The lawsuit was first reported by The Washington Submit.