President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed a second government official who had testified in his impeachment probe, recalling ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, US media reported.
“I was advised today that the president intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union,” Sondland said in a statement obtained by The New York Times.
His ouster came hours after Trump pushed out Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman from his White House job on the National Security Council.
Vindman was escorted out of the White House, with his lawyer calling the move an act of revenge by the president.
“Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth,” lawyer David Pressman said.
Hours earlier, Trump had said he wanted Vindman gone.
“I’m not happy with him,” Trump, who was acquitted by the Senate on Wednesday of charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, told reporters.
“You think I’m supposed to be happy with him?” Trump said. “I’m not.”
Vindman, who served as director of European affairs on the National Security Council, was present during the July 25 phone call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden.
Sondland had testified that Trump sought a quid pro quo from Ukraine, the intended recipient of nearly $400 million in military assistance that the White House had put on hold.