Ambassador fails to appear on Capitol Hill for impeachment inquiry

House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff addressed Gordon Sondland’s failure to testify before Congress.
6:07 | 10/08/19

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Transcript for Ambassador fails to appear on Capitol Hill for impeachment inquiry
We were informed about an hour and a half ago that. By the attorney for master someone that the State Department. Would refuse to allow him to testify today. This was after conversations. Well into. Yesterday afternoon and evening with the State Department legal advisor in which there was no indication. That the investor would be a no show. Not only is the congress being deprived of his testimony American people being deprived of his task today. But we are also aware of that. The investor has. Text messages or emails. On a personal device. Which have been provided to the state of our apartment although we have requested those from the bastard and the State Department is withholding those messages as well. Those messages are also deeply relevant to this investigation. And the impeachment inquiry. And I want to just explained for the public. The significance of this witness on the significance of the decision. Evidently by the secretary of state and president or president or both. To withhold this key witness's testimony today. We know from the text messages that investor Solomon was a discussion would Ukrainian counterparts. With a fellow diplomatic. Personnel. And the president. As well as at least one US senator. About the course of events that we are investigating. We know from those text messages that diplomatic personnel raised the concern was him that military assistance was being withheld. To secure or. Help from Ukraine in the president's. Reelection campaign. We know that ambassador Solomon had at least one discussion where they fellow diplomats on that very subject. Of why military assistance was being withheld real master Simon was a key player in efforts to. Obtained a commitment from you frame that to investigate a bogus conspiracy theory about the 2016 election as well as. Joseph Biden and his son. And we know that the investor has relevant. Evidence on whether the meeting with the president that the ukrainians. Desperately sought. With president trump was being conditioned. Oh on these investigations that the president believed would help his reelection campaign. It is hard to overstate the significance. I'm not just about to summers' testimony and the documents but the testimony of others as well. The failure to produce this witness. The failure to produce these documents. We consider. Yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions. Of congress they coequal. Branch of government. There are four issues that we are looking at at least four issues that we are looking at all that go to the heart of our national security. And by a preventing us from here from this witness and obtain these documents. The president and secretary of state are taking actions that prevent us from getting the facts needed to protect the nation's security. We are looking into whether the president solicited foreign help. In a US presidential election again. We are looking into the issue of whether. A meeting that Ukraine desperately sought with the president at the White House was being conditioned. On the willingness of Ukraine to investigate this bogus. Conspiracy theory about when he sixteen. And investigate the Biden's. We're looking at whether. Ukraine. Was given reason to believe. That military assistance it desperately needed to fight off the Russians was being withheld. Until it made commitments to do these political investigations for the president. And we are looking into the question of whether there is been an effort by the president the secretary state and others. To cover up. This misconduct. Master song on the C important witness on each of these subjects. But he is not the only important witness. And we will consider this act today and we've had members flying in from around the country to hear investors testimony. As well as the withholding of the investors documents. As well as efforts that may be made to discourage or having the effect of discouraging other. State Department witnesses from coming forward and testifying. As they've agreed to. To be further acts of obstruction of a coequal branch of government. This is one of the few impeachment inquiries in the history of our country. It goes to the core of whether the present the views his office. To seek political help in his reelection campaign and did so to the detriment. Of our nation's security. Did so by effectively coercing a country that has been invaded by Russia. To. Investigate a rival. And condition the relationship between this country and that country. On whether they were willing to play ball. That is the gravel and of the issues that we are investigating that this impeachment inquiry is looking into it is hard to imagine a set of facts. More damaging to our national security and our standing in the world. But also. More a fundamental breach of the president's oath of office. He and American people have the right to know if the president is acting in their interest in the nation's interest with an eye towards our national security. And not in his narrow personal political interest they have a right to know indeed the American people have a need to know. And through this impeachment inquiry we are determined to find the answers thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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