Jay Leno is best known for being the longtime host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.” On Thursday he was named in testimony in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump because he attended a dinner in Brussels with U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and others.
During the fifth day of testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, David Holmes, a State Department diplomat stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, said he attended a party hosted by Sondland on June 4 in honor of the Fourth of July which included comedian Jay Leno.
Here’s what you need to know.
David Holmes Is a Career State Department Diplomat Who Has Worked in Afghanistan, Colombia, Russia, Kosovo and India
David Holmes has worked for the State Department at the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, since August 2017. He is testifying before the House Committee on Intelligence on Thursday in the impeachment inquiry hearings against President Donald Trump.
Holmes testified that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland that he hosted a party in Kiev on June 4, in honor of the upcoming Fourth of July holiday in the United States. Holmes said that Jay Leno was in attendance at that dinner party, along with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Holmes is testifying alongside Fiona Hill, who served as the National Security Council’s senior director for Europe and Russia from 2017 to July 2019. She resigned just days before the July 25 phone call between Trump and newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Jay Leno Attended the June 4 Party in Kiev, Ukraine, Just Weeks Before the July 25 Phone Call Between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Who Is a Former Comedian
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is a former actor and comedian who was elected to the presidency in May. During U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, Sondland said he invited Jay Leno to the dinner because Zelensky was a big fan of the American comedian.
According to Politico, “as part of that celebration, Sondland arranged a standup comedy performance in Brussels by Jay Leno, the former host of “The Tonight Show.”
An Official Press Release From the U.S. Mission to the European Union Mentions Jay Leno and Others Guests Who Attended the June 4 Dinner
According to a press release from the U.S. Mission to the European Union, issued on June 5 the day after the party, Jay Leno is featured as a guest along with several other high-profile people, including the presidents of Ukraine and Poland and the prime ministers of Georgia and Romania.
Senior U.S. leaders in attendance included Secretary of Energy Rick Perry; Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner; Counselor of the Department of State Ulrich Brechbuhl; Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker; Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium Ronald Gidwitz; and Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher.
The U.S. Mission to the European Union posted several pictures of the event on its Flickr page.