Taylor, the acting ambassador to Ukraine, told legislators on Tuesday that Pompeo loomed large in what Taylor described as an “irregular” effort to make assistance to Ukraine contingent on the young Volodomyr Zelensky government’s willingness to investigate Trump’s domestic political rivals.
In a letter to Congress earlier this month, Pompeo said he would hold on to relevant communications and materials in order to protect career diplomats and officials in his department. Now, though, congressional staffers tell The Daily Beast they are again attempting to gain access to key evidence and say Pompeo’s reasoning for withholding is shallow. Those staffers pointed to the State Department’s history of mistreating officials for their perceived disloyalty to the Trump administration.
“Pompeo is not just a yes man to the president, he is a hell-yes man,” said Thomas Countryman, who retired from State in January 2017 after a three-decade diplomatic career. “It’s been especially disappointing that as he is asked hard questions, he adopts the Trumpian style of refusing to engage in substance and going into ad hominem attacks. It reminds me of the old RCA ads: ‘His Master’s Voice.’”