George Kent, a career State Department diplomat, arrived for his private meeting with lawmakers Tuesday as the latest official to appear before Congress in the Democrats’ sprawling impeachment inquiry.
Mr. Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, currently oversees U.S. policy for several eastern European countries, including Ukraine. He previously served as the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan said Mr. Kent was subpoenaed by House Democrats like former White House Russia expert Fiona Hill was Monday.
Lawmakers are expected to ask Mr. Kent about efforts to protect former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch from being ousted earlier this year.
In October, State Department Inspector General Steve Linick gave lawmakers a batch of internal State Department emails in which Mr. Kent expressed concerns about false allegations lodged against Ms. Yovanovitch.
Among those is President Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani claiming without evidence that Ms. Yovanovitch and Mr. Kent worked alongside liberal philanthropist George Soros to dig up dirt on Trump campaign officials in Ukraine.
Upon exiting the hearing, Rep. Gerald Connolly said Mr. Kent raised concerns over efforts to smear Ms. Yovanovitch.
“What I can say is he was clearly bothered by the role Mr. Giuliani was playing and the disinformation he was spreading,” the Virginia Democrat said.
Members are not allowed to disclosed details about what is discussed behind closed doors, but Rep. Lee Zeldin said he wanted to ask Mr. Kent about the allegations swirling around the Biden family regarding their connection to Burisma, a Ukrainian company.
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