Pompeo Works To Shrug Off Impeachment Inquiry As Kansas Senate Decision Looms

Secretary of State Pompeo's role examined in impeachment inquiry

Pompeo Works To Shrug Off Impeachment Inquiry As Kansas Senate Decision Looms

This comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo becomes increasingly involved in the inquiry.

People familiar with the matter say the highest-ranking career diplomat in the foreign service, David Hale, plans to say that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other senior officials determined that defending Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch would hurt the effort to free up USA military assistance to Ukraine.

He will say the hesitation to support Yovanovitch stemmed from concerns among the officials about how President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who had been pressing to have her removed, would react.

In his controversial July 25 call with Ukraine's new president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump called Yovanovitch "bad news" and said she was "going to go through some things".

Former ambassador to the Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, told House impeachment investigators she felt threatened by President Donald Trump during her tenure in Ukraine, according to a transcript of her closed-door testimony that were released Monday.

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Yovanovitch testified that she felt threatened when she read those words when the White House released a memorandum of the call on September 24, according to the transcript of her sworn deposition released by the House.

Yovanovitch denied those allegations in a sworn deposition and said she had been told by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan that she was being recalled because the president lost faith in her, even though Sullivan said he was not aware of her doing anything wrong.

But Pompeo parsed his words extremely carefully, conjuring a straw man argument in what appeared to be an attempt to undermine testimony that his former senior adviser, Michael McKinley, had given under oath before the House impeachment inquiry.

Miller, who worked under seven secretaries of state, said Pompeo has been "very badly damaged" by Ukraine and that his actions, or lack of actions, "pose a huge problem for the Department of State, to the whole notion of professionalism and public service". The transcript of McKinley's deposition, in which McKinley said he raised the issue three times, was released by House Democrats last week.

"I think at that point I said, well, you know. I haven't had the chance - it's a pretty busy world out there - I haven't had the chance to follow this".

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Pompeo never gave him a substantive response, McKinley told lawmakers in his October 16 appearance.

When Stephanopoulos asked directly whether he was asked to issue a statement of support, Pompeo declined to comment: "I'm not going to talk about private conversations that I had with my most trusted advisers". "In May, when that took place, he didn't say a thing to me".

Scores of former national security officials have criticized the State Department's decision not to defend Yovanovitch.

McKinley said he ultimately heard that Pompeo would not be releasing a statement supporting Yovanovitch from a State Department press official.

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