Despite efforts by the White House to prevent current and former officials to cooperate with Congress, Democrats in the House of Representatives appear to have snagged another key witness in their ongoing impeachment inquiry.
According to Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio, “Former Pompeo adviser Michael McKinley, who resigned last week, will testify in closed session on Wednesday before House impeachment investigators, according to an official working on the inquiry.”
NEWS: Former Pompeo adviser Michael McKinley, who resigned last week, will testify in closed session on Wednesday before House impeachment investigators, according to an official working on the inquiry.
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) October 14, 2019
McKinley, a career diplomat, announced his resignation from the State Department just last week after the department became a focus of the Ukraine scandal.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has not cooperated with the House impeachment inquiry so far, which is hardly a surprise. After all, right from the start, Pompeo was caught in a lie about his involvement in the president’s infamous phone call with the president of Ukraine.
The fact that his former adviser – the man who reportedly “served as a conduit between Pompeo’s office and career staff” – is a big deal. It could shed more light not only on the president’s criminal conduct but also on just how involved Pompeo was.
Trump’s impeachment defense is going up in flames
The entire basis of Trump’s impeachment defense, at least at first, was to try to discredit the infamous whistleblower who sounded the alarm about the president’s Ukraine crime and the subsequent cover-up.
But as more and more people who worked close to Trump are cooperating with the House impeachment inquiry, it’s going to become increasingly difficult for the president to pin it all on one or two so-called “deep state” spies.
As PoliticusUSA’s Jason Easley noted over the weekend, EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland – who is set to testify this week – will blow a hole in the president’s impeachment defense by claiming Trump did, in fact, withhold military aid to Ukraine to pressure them into investigating Joe Biden.
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, has already told Congress that Trump forced her out because she wouldn’t pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival.
The more current and former Trump officials who cooperate with the House impeachment probe – and the list continues to grow – the more laughable the president’s defense looks.