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

Cheryl Sanders
November 9, 2019

"Never in my experience and never in the modern period, post-1945, have you ever had a secretary of state more politicized, more constrained by his own political ambitions and his unwillingness to stand up to the president or defend his own department than Mike Pompeo", said Aaron David Miller, a former State Department official who is now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Hale, who arrived Wednesday morning to testify behind closed doors, will also say that the State Department anxious about the reaction from President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, also one of the strongest advocates for removing the ambassador.

McKinley testified that he repeatedly pushed the State Department to release a statement in September supporting the ousted ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanitch, who was recalled after a smear campaign against her led by Rudy Giuliani and others.

Hale, a fluent Arabic speaker who joined the foreign service in 1984, has served as ambassador to Lebanon, Pakistan and Jordan and in posts in Tunisia, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Michael McKinley, a veteran diplomat Pompeo tapped as a senior adviser early in his tenure, testified that after the memo was released, he had three conversations with Pompeo, asking him to issue a statement of support for Yovanovitch. The transcript showed that Trump had disparaged Yovanovitch during the call, calling her "bad news".

She testified that she saw an agenda set in motion that furthered the politics interests of certain individuals rather than the interests of the U.S. She also said she was shocked to learn that Trump told the president of Ukraine president during their July 25 phone call that she "was going to through some things".

"It's not surprising that when Ambassador Yovanovitch returned to the United States that he didn't raise that issue with me", the Secretary of State said. On all three occasions, according to the transcript of his deposition, he said he did not get a response from Pompeo.

Asked during a press conference why he never released such a statement, Pompeo instead denied the adviser's testimony. He added that because McKinley's focus wasn't Ukraine "it shouldn't surprise anyone that in May when that took place, he didn't say a thing to me".

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".

Pompeo has said the impeachment process is unfair to State employees because they are not allowed to have department lawyers with them when they testify.

That isn't what McKinley testified, however, and Pompeo declined to answer other questions on the impeachment inquiry during his press conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

Other reports by iNewsToday