Key diplomat set to testify in impeachment inquiry — live updates

Key facts and latest news

  • George Kent, a top official in the State Department, is scheduled to be deposed Tuesday.
  • Lawmakers return Tuesday after a two-week recess, with four depositions scheduled for administration officials before the House committees leading the impeachment probe.
  • The president’s former Russia adviser, Fiona Hill, testified before Congress all day Monday.
  • On a July call between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, President Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden.

Washington— A key State Department official is slated to testify Tuesday before the House committees leading the impeachment probe as lawmakers return to Capitol Hill after a two-week break.

George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state in the European and Eurasian bureau, is scheduled to be deposed before the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees. In emails from last spring provided to Congress by the State Department inspector general earlier this month, Kent expressed concerns about the administration’s efforts to oust Marie Yovanovitch, then the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

Fiona Hill, the former senior director for Russia at the National Security Council, testified Monday behind closed doors in a marathon session lasting more than 10 hours.

Details about her precise testimony were scarce, but she had been expected to tell lawmakers that Rudy Giuliani and Gordon Sondland, the U.S ambassador to the E.U., actively avoided her and the National Security Council process and ran their own Ukraine policy, a source familiar with the matter told CBS News.

Members of Congress are return to Washington on Tuesday as the committees leading the impeachment inquiry — Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform –prepare to hear testimony from numerous officials about the administration’s dealings with Ukraine.

On Friday, Yovanovitch told lawmakers that she had done nothing wrong and refuted each of the accusations against her leveled by Giuliani and the president’s allies.

According to her prepared remarks, obtained by the Washington Post, Yovanovitch denied allegations that she had directed a Ukrainian official to refrain from investigating corruption, and she defended her record against attacks by Mr. Trump and Giuliani, his personal attorney. She said she had never called on any official in Ukraine not to investigate “actual corruption” and denied she had ever created a “‘do not prosecute'” list.

She also denied she had ever been “disloyal” to Mr. Trump and added that the Obama administration never asked her to help with the Clinton campaign or work against the Trump campaign.

Yovanovitch also said her ouster as ambassador came as a surprise, and said that the deputy secretary of state explained to her that there had been a “concerted campaign against” her, and the State Department had been under pressure to remove her since 2018.

​Former senior adviser to Pompeo to testify Wednesday

Michael McKinley listens during a meeting to discuss a road map for ending the war with the Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday, January 18, 2016. Rahmat Gul / AP

Monday, 6:40 p.m.: Michael McKinley, a former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, will appear for a transcribed interview before the committees on Wednesday morning, two sources familiar with the matter told CBS News.

Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, will also now appear before the committees on Friday, an official working on the impeachment inquiry said.

McKinley, a career diplomat and one of Pompeo’s top aides, resigned his post last week. — Rebecca Kaplan and Nancy Cordes

​This week’s deadlines for subpoenas

Monday, 3:23 p.m.: This week will see a slew of deadlines for subpoenas for documents that Democrats have issued over the past two weeks:

Florida Republican barred from Fiona Hill’s deposition

Monday, 12:08 p.m.: Florida Republican Matt Gaetz, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, went to Fiona Hill’s deposition this morning and was asked to leave by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff because he is not a member of the Intelligence, Oversight or Foreign Affairs Committees.

After seeking a ruling from the parliamentarian, who apparently ruled in Schiff’s favor, Gaetz left. — Rebecca Kaplan

​Justice Department probing possible Giuliani FARA violations

Monday, 10:30 a.m.: The Justice Department is looking into whether Rudy Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, violated foreign lobbying regulations, CBS News has confirmed. Federal law, specifically the Foreign Agents Registration Act or FARA, requires U.S. citizens to disclose any lobbying on behalf of foreign clients to the Justice Department. This investigation is tied to the prosecution of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were arrested last week, but Giuliani is the focus of the foreign lobbying probe.

Parnas and Fruman, who had been helping Giuliani in his efforts to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, have been accused by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York of attempting to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office. — Paula Reid and Kathryn Watson

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