16:35 GMT +319 January 2020
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    Earlier today, the State Department barred the US diplomat from testifying to Congress as part of the impeachment probe against President Donald Trump.

    US Democratic Committee chairmen said on Tuesday they will be issuing a subpoena to Gordon Sondland, US envoy to the European Union, in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

    Earlier the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff told reporters that the State Department is withholding messages from the envoy that are pertinent to the impeachment investigation.

    "Not only is the Congress being deprived of his testimony ... but we are also aware that the ambassador has text messages or emails on a personal device, which had been provided to the State Department, although we have requested those from the ambassador, and the State Department is withholding those messages as well...Those messages are also deeply relevant to this investigation and the impeachment inquiry," Schiff said.

    This comes as US President Donald Trump said he will not allow US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland to appear for a closed-door deposition before the House of Representatives committees seeking to impeach him.

    Trump's tweet follows a decision by the State Department to block Sondland from speaking to Congress.

    The diplomat's lawyer lamented the move saying that the envoy was profoundly disappointed with the decision.

    "Ambassador Sondland travelled to Washington from Brussels in order to prepare for his testimony and to be available to answer the Committee's questions," the lawyer said.

    In September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi initiated an impeachment probe into the president in response to a whistleblower report that the US president pressed Ukrainian President Zelensky to investigate alleged corruption by Hunter Biden, the son of 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden.

    Trump allegedly tied the corruption probe to US military aid to Ukraine.

    impeachment, Trump, US
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