According to the AP, a second embassy staffer, Syria's Jayanti, who was sitting at the table with Sondland, also overheard the call. He said he now remembered telling a Ukrainian adviser that he presumed the USA aid was stalled until Ukraine launched the public investigation.
Holmes is scheduled to testify before House impeachment investigators in a closed-door session on Friday.
A State Department official based in Ukraine has told impeachment investigators that he overheard a conversation between President Donald Trump and a diplomat about "investigations" in Ukraine, according to one lawmaker leaving the closed-door deposition. Taylor said one of his staffers overhead the call while Sondland was in a Kyiv restaurant the day after Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that triggered the House impeachment inquiry. "I don't recall", he replied.
'Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which [Trump lawyer Rudy] Giuliani was pressing for'.
Afghan presidentTaliban to Launch 2 American University profs in Captive Exchange
The Taliban, who have long refused to negotiate with Mr Ghani's administration, are yet to respond to the announcement. The Taliban have not confirmed they will release the two professors either.
Taylor testified that a member of his staff last Friday told him that on July 26 there was a meeting between Sondland and President Zelensky's aide Andrey Yermak.
'Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and did not tell me exactly, about the relation between the [military] assistance and the investigations, ' Prystaiko told journalists in Kiev.
Lieu says two other people heard the call as well, and said there were four people at the lunch. He said Trump indicated there was no quid quo pro, but later submitted updated answers to his testimony that said he believes the Trump administration held back the military aid to pressure Ukraine into launching the Biden probe. Hill cited a Sondland habit of giving out personal cellphone numbers - hers and national security adviser John Bolton's as well as his own - and his failure to get appropriately briefed ahead of meetings. People come forward with information along the way.
"All of those communications could have been exfiltrated by the Russians very easily", she testified. She said she'd later find messages from irate officials who'd been told by Sondland that they were supposed to meet with her.
"I have never seen a direct relationship between investigations and security assistance." said Prystaiko, "Yes, the investigations were mentioned, you know, in the conversation of the presidents".