Attorney for Sondland slams congressman’s call for boycott

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The attorney for a U.S. envoy at the center of an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump has slammed a Democratic congressman’s call for a boycott of the Portland-based hotel chain the diplomat founded.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon said Wednesday that no one “who cares about America” should stay at or do business with the hotels until Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testifies and turns over relevant documents to the House of Representatives.

Jim McDermott, a lawyer representing Sondland, called it an “irresponsible attempt to hurt a homegrown business that supports hundreds of jobs in our local economy.”

McDermott says his client has requested that the State Department allow him to testify as soon as possible.

Texts provided by another diplomat last week showed Sondland and others navigating Trump’s demands for investigations by Ukraine of Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son. Several House committees have subpoenaed Sondland, who failed to appear for questioning after the Trump administration blocked him from testifying.