WH Official Who Sat In On Ukraine Meetings To Depart NSC

North Facade of the White House, 1800, by James Hoban (1762-1831), Washington DC, District of Columbia, United States of America, 19th century.

A National Security Council official who attended Ukraine-related meetings that are now being probed by the House in an impeachment inquiry will leave the White House this Friday, Politico reported.

The report did not give a specific reason for Earl Matthews’ exit, but an NSC spokesperson praised Matthews and told Politico that “we have no doubt he will continue to serve his country well in his future endeavors.”

There are no plans to replace Matthews, according to the report, which noted that Robert O’Brien, the national security advisor who succeeded John Bolton, has sought to shrink the size of the NSC.

Matthews sat in on meetings with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky while traveling with Bolton in Europe, Politico said. He also was present for Vice President Mike Pence’s Warsaw meeting with Zelensky, according to the report. After the meeting, a U.S. ambassador told a Zelensky aide that a hold on military assistance would not be lifted until the Ukraine public announced investigations into President Trump’s political rivals, the ambassador and others testified to Congress.

An administration official told Politico that Matthews had not been wrapped up in the House impeachment probe, for which other key witnesses having testified after resigning from their posts in Trump’s administration.

The House requested the voluntary testimony of Bolton, but doesn’t appear to be willing to go court to secure it.

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