U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, a major figure in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, is reportedly overseeing a taxpayer-funded $1 million renovation of his government-provided residence in Brussels. According to The Washington Post, the renovations include: kitchen improvements worth more than $400,000, a $30,000 sound system, a $95,000 outdoor “living pod,” and $33,000 worth of handmade furniture from Italy. The State Department also allocated over $100,000 for Sondland's other living accommodations while the renovations are underway. Some of Sondland's colleagues told the Post he became disappointed with his accommodations shortly after arriving in Brussels and tried to move into a new residence altogether before proposing the renovations.
The State Department defended Sondland's renovations, describing them as part of the “regular 17-year cycle of reviewing and refreshing furnishings and interior décor in representational residences.” The ambassador is scheduled to be deposed by impeachment investigators on Thursday over his role in pressuring the Ukrainian government to investigate corruption allegations against Vice President Joe Biden and his son.