Just days after resigning as a top adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Michael McKinley told the House on Wednesday that he resigned over the sidelining of career diplomats in Ukraine, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
McKinley resigned on Thursday of last week, according to the Washington Post. Soon after, the House scheduled him for a transcribed interview as part of its impeachment inquiry. Speaking to Congress Wednesday, the former Pompeo adviser expressed frustration with how the administration “wrestled Ukraine policy away from career diplomats,” in the Times’ words.
McKinley told investigators he resigned over the politicization of the State Department, per the Times. The paper said his “last straw” was the recall of Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani pushed Trump to fire Yovanovitch, and Rudy and others appear to have had early knowledge that she would be removed as America’s top diplomat in Ukraine.
The Post reported Wednesday morning that McKinley felt Sate Department leadership had not done enough to defend Yovanovitch or to stop the “obviously partisan effort to intervene in our relationship with Ukraine for the political benefit of the President,” according to an unnamed person familiar with McKinley’s planned testimony.
Before advising Pompeo, McKinley had served as ambassador to Afghanistan, Colombia, Peru and Brazil.