1

In the construction

The decision to block Mr. Sondland from being interviewed was delivered at the last minute, after the ambassador had already flown to Washington from Europe, and lawmakers had returned from a two-week recess to observe the questioning.

does the compound sentence

the ambassador had already flown to Washington from Europe, and lawmakers had returned from a two-week recess to observe the questioning.

act as the object of the preposition after?

4

Does the compound sentence . . . act as the object of the preposition after?

Essentially, yes; but object and sentence are not the terms preferred by most grammarians.

  • Traditionalists call prepositions subordinating conjunctions when they introduce clauses, and they call the clauses subordinate clauses.

  • Modernists call clauses introduced by prepositions complements rather than objects. (Some of them don't even call a noun clause introduced by a prepositions an object—they use oblique instead.) And they call finite clauses like those in your example content clauses.

This is not a comfortable time to be studying English syntax if you have to pass examinations.

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  • This answer should serve as a model for all who are wise to follow: It perfectly separates substance from jargon. It points out that the substance of the OP's understanding was right even though it was expressed unconventionally and it points out that there are different terminologies for expressing that idea, without declaring any one terminology the "true" one. – Ben Kovitz Oct 9 '19 at 21:06

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