Moving Closer to Trump, Impeachment Inquiry Faces Critical Test
House impeachment investigators are speeding toward new White House barriers meant to block crucial testimony and evidence from the people who are closest to President Trump — obstacles that could soon test the limits of Democrats’ fact finding a month into their inquiry. What has been a rapidly moving investigation securing damning testimony from witnesses who have defied White House orders may soon become a more arduous effort. Investigators are now trying to secure cooperation from higher-ranking advisers who can offer more direct accounts of Mr. Trump’s actions but are also more easily shielded from Congress.
Michael McKinley is testifying Wednesday behind closed doors as part of the House Democrats' impeachment probe -- less than a week after resigning as a senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo .
Michael McKinley , who served as an adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo , resigned after the whistleblower's complaint surfaced. WASHINGTON – A transcript of former State Department official Michael McKinley 's testimony in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump was
Former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Michael McKinley, directly contradicted public comments made by the top US diplomat when helast month as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
McKinley, who resigned amid the Ukraine controversy, raised concerns about former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch's removal, which was pushed by Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and has become a central part of the inquiry, according to aof that testimony released Monday.
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Transcript of ex - Pompeo adviser 's testimony in impeachment inquiry released. Washington — Michael McKinley , a former top adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo , told the House committees leading the impeachment probe that he resigned his post after a "puzzling and baffling"
That testimony contradicted Mr. Pompeo himself, who has publicly denied having Mr. McKinley told investigators in his own interview about how he pressed top State Department officials, including Mr. Pompeo , to issue a Eileen Sullivan, Michael D. Shear and Charlie Savage contributed reporting.
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While Pompeo told ABC News last month that McKinley never raised the idea of issuing a statement of support for Yovonovitch, McKinley directly contradicted that statement while under oath, telling lawmakers he mentioned it on three separate occasions.
Specifically, McKinley who testified behind closed doors on October 16, said that he raised the Yovanovitch matter with Pompeo three times and proposed releasing a statement of support for the former diplomat, who was abruptly recalled from her post, but did not receive a response from the secretary of state, including when he told Pompeo he was leaving the department.
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That testimony contradicted Mr. Pompeo himself, who has publicly denied having heard any concerns from Mr. McKinley about the treatment Mr. Eisenberg said through his lawyer on Monday that he would wait until a federal judge ruled on whether Mr. Trump’s closest advisers must answer
Michael McKinley , right, the former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo , testified before the House on Oct. The House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump released the transcript of former diplomat Michael McKinley 's testimony on Monday.
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"I said: We've seen the situation that's developing outside. Wouldn't it be good to put out a statement on Yovanovitch? Since my impression is the Department, you know, at least tried to keep her in Ukraine. I had gotten that from the newspapers," McKinley said. "He listened. That was it. Sort of , 'Thank you.' That was the limit of the conversation."
McKinley told lawmakers that he raised the issue on two other occasions, including during a phone call to discuss his resignation.
"I spoke with the Secretary again when he called from Europe to discuss my resignation," McKinley said. "I was pretty direct. I said, 'You know, this situation isn't acceptable. We need to you know, I've already made my recommendation, but ... I am resigning.' And that was the conversation. Again, I didn't get a reaction on that point."
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The former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talked behind closed doors with House investigators about the Ukraine affair and why he Michael McKinley , right, formerly a top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo , arrives for a joint interview with House investigators in October.
Both Michael McKinley , a senior adviser to Mr. Pompeo and a four-time ambassador, and Philip T Many people speculate that Mr. Pompeo , a former Republican Tea Party congressman backed by Multiple op-eds and open letters with scores of signatures from former officials have called on Mr
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McKinley's testimony contradicts public comments that Pompeo made in an interview last month with ABC News after McKinley's testimony.
"From the time that Ambassador Yovanovitch departed Ukraine until the time that (McKinley) came to tell me that he was departing, I never heard him say a single thing about his concerns with respect to the decision that was made," Pompeo said of McKinley. "Not once ... did Ambassador McKinley say something to me during that entire time period."
McKinley testified that he chose to resign because of what he saw as the use of ambassadors "to advance domestic political objectives" and a failure of the State Department to offer support for those officials caught up in the impeachment inquiry.
"The timing of my resignation was the result of two overriding concerns: the failure in my view, of the State Department to offer support to Foreign Service employees caught up in the impeachment inquiry; and, second, by what appears to be the utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance domestic political objectives," McKinley said. "To see the emerging information on the engagement of our missions to procure negative political information for domestic purposes, combined with the failure I saw in the building to provide support for our professional cadre in a particularly trying time, I think the combination was a pretty good reason to decide enough, that I had no longer a useful role to play."
A dramatic reversal splinters Trump's impeachment defense
President Donald Trump's impeachment defense is being stripped away plank by plank by some of the administration officials caught up in his scheme to pressure Ukraine for political favors. A dramatic reversal by Republican donor turned diplomat Gordon Sondland, who now says that a quid pro quo was needed from Kiev to free up military aid, rocked Washington Tuesday and undercut GOP strategy.
Michael McKinley , a former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who quit abruptly before he testified, told lawmakers that a colleague felt the State Department was using "bullying tactics" to try to prevent him from cooperating with Congress. Pompeo had accused Congress of
Marie Yovanovitch and Michael McKinley , a former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo . READ: Ex -State Department Adviser Michael McKinley 's Testimony To Congress. Sondland was a major Trump donor, and witnesses have contradicted parts of Sondland's testimony .
The State Department did not respond to CNN's request for comment about the contradiction.
'Strange parallel universe'
As theby the House impeachment inquiry, diplomats say they find themselves caught in a "strange parallel universe," where the administration officials they serve accuse them of being part of a "swamp" trying to take the President down.
Officials from the nation's oldest Cabinet agency have been central to the inquiry into Trump's alleged attempts to exchange aid to Ukraine for an investigation into his political foes. As the inquiry unfolds, the department itself and some individual officials have become the target of intensifying White House vitriol.
The State Department has been catapulted into a "strange parallel universe," one Washington-based official previously told CNN, groping for a way to describe the way staff feel about the situation: The administration they serve is attacking them, career diplomats are having to hire lawyers simply for having done their jobs and anger is growing about the silence on the seventh floor, where the secretary's offices are housed.
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