Michael McKinley, the former top adviser to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, arrived on Capitol Hill Wednesday, to face questions from congressional investigators pursuing an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
He’s the latest in a string of diplomats who have - or are set to - provide closed-door testimony to lawmakers examining whether Trump improperly pressured Ukraine to launch an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden.
McKinley - who had served as Pompeo’s policy adviser since May 2018 - abruptly quit last week… saying in a note to staff that his departure after 37 years with the State Department was ‘personal.’ The Washington Post reported that McKinley resigned over the department leadership’s unwillingness to defend former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch against an effort to intervene in the country for Trump's political benefit.
Previous witnesses have described how policy staff were sidelined on Ukraine by Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and others.
Trump on Wednesday defended Giuliani’s involvement in Ukraine: (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: “With Rudy, Rudy was seeking out corruption.
And I think there’s nothing wrong with seeking out corruption.” Giuliani on Tuesday said he would not comply with a subpoena issued by House Democrats as part of their impeachment inquiry.
A letter from a lawyer representing Giuliani said that the inquiry was illegitimate, and that information Democrats have sought relating to his work in Ukraine is potentially protected by attorney-client privilege and executive privilege.