The accounts of Holmes and Jayanti could tie Trump closer to efforts to hold up military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations into his political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter's business dealings.
The second witness to the call was another embassy staffer, Suriya Jayanti, AP reported, citing an unnamed person briefed on the discussion. A person briefed on what Jayanti overheard spoke to AP on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter now under investigation.
The member of Taylor's staff then asked Sondland what Trump thought about Ukraine, Taylor said. The official said Sondland responded that Trump 'cares more about the investigations of Biden, which [Rudy] Giuliani was pushing for, ' according to Taylor.
Many former security officials on Wednesday expressed their bewilderment that Sondland conducted this call with Trump in the middle of a restaurant in Kyiv, with one former White House Situation Room director telling The Washington Post, "in a country that is so wired with Russian intelligence, you can nearly take it to the bank that the Russians were listening in on the call".
"Yes, the investigations were mentioned, you know, in conversation between the presidents".
"Following that meeting, in the presence of my staff at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kiev".
Acting Ukraine Ambassador Bill Taylor made the bombshell revelation Wednesday that, a day after the now-infamous phone call in which Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for politicized investigations, Trump called Sondland to ask about those investigations.
Holmes is scheduled to testify Friday before House investigators in a closed session. Trump on Wednesday denied the new claim from Taylor during a joint press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying, "I've never heard this". Holmes is counselor for political affairs at the USA embassy in Kiev.
Jayanti, a lawyer, joined the State Department in 2012 and served at the massive US embassy in Iraq.
Jayanti was previously scheduled to be deposed by impeachment investigators, but the interview was cancelled so members could attend the funeral of the late Elijah Cummings.
In the revised testimony, Sondland said he told an aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy "the resumption of USA aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks" - a reference to investigations. The identity of the second official was not immediately known. I do not recall any conversation with me as with foreign minister. "Particularly after that, anybody should understand how unsafe it is to make an unsecured call in Kiev, or anywhere else for that matter".
"Obviously, making a phone call from Kyiv to the president of the United States means that not just the Russian intelligence services will be on the call, but a whole lot of other people, too", McFaul continued. "A lower-level official would probably be reprimanded for this kind of breach".