Former Ambassador Kurt Volker makes second 'unexpected' appearance as House impeachment inquiry continues
Special Envoy Kurt Volker already testified in closed-door session before the House impeachment inquiry, but on Wednesday morning he surprised onlookers by making a second, unannounced appearance on Capitol Hill, where he is apparently in the same chamber where the impeachment inquiry interviews witnesses.
And, while Volker was still behind those closed doors, a second former State Department official has made a less unexpected appearance. Michael McKinley, who was the senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before he abruptly resigned last week, was already slated to testify on Wednesday. However, it now appears that McKinley and Volker are both behind those closed doors, which is generating a massive what-the-heck from those waiting outside.
Immediately following Volker’s testimony, Republicans such as Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio rushed to claim that the nine-hour appearance had “exonerated” Donald Trump by conclusively saying there was “no quid pro quo … no linkage.” That was followed by the release of texts among Volker, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, Rudy Giuliani, Charge d’Affaires William Taylor, and others showing clear and sustained efforts to force Ukraine to open an investigation into Joe Biden. What’s known about Volker’s testimony seems to show that it emphasized Giuliani’s attempts to spread propaganda.
Some sources have suggested that Volker’s appearance is part of a continued effort to review the transcript and release portions of his testimony that seem exculpatory for Trump. But his appearance at the same time as McKinley is scheduled to testify is definitely creating an impression that there may be more going on than just skimming through some recorded text.
McKinley is a former U.S. ambassador and longtime diplomat whose resignation is reportedly connected to his concerns that the State Department wasn’t supporting former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was forced out of her position after Giuliani and others spread rumors and conspiracy theories about her.