Thursday, November 21
WH/NSC: Fiona Hill, Fiona Hill, Former Senior Director for Europe and Russia
State/FSO David Holmes, Political Counselor, US Embassy Kyiv, Ukraine
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 21, 2019
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 21, 2019
Posted: Nov 12, 2019
Updated: Nov 16, 2019
Updated, November 18, 2019
Catherine M. Croft is a Foreign Service Officer with nine years in service. According to her Opening Statement, she started work on Ukraine in 2013, when she was posted to the U.S. Mission to NATO. After Russia invaded Crimea, she was assigned to NATO headquarters in Brussels. From August 2015 to July 2017, she served as one of several Ukraine Desk Officers in Foggy Bottom. In July 2017 she joined the National Security Council Staff at the White House as Director covering Ukraine. She left the NSC in July 2018 and started studying Arabic at the ForeignService Institute in preparation for a tour in Baghdad. But in May 2019, she was asked to take over as Ambassador Volker’s Advisor. She spent the month of June at the US Embassy Kyiv “to prepare and then spent the week of July 8 overlapping with” her predecessor, Christopher Anderson.
Christopher J. Anderson is a Foreign Service Officer with fourteen years of service. According to his Opening Statement, he has been in the Foreign Service since 2005. His work in Ukraine began with a three-week temporary duty to Kyiv in March 2014 “just after Russia invaded and occupied Crimea.” He returned to Kyiv in September 2014 to serve as the External Unit Chief in the Political Section of Embassy Kyiv. He served in Kyiv from 2014–2017 and “worked closely with Ambassador Yovanovitch from 2015–2017.” In August 2017 Ambassador Volker reportedly asked him to serve as Special Advisor for Ukraine Negotiations. He served in that position from late August 2017 until July 12, 2019. He was succeed on his job by Catherine Croft.
Here are links to the opening statements for today's impeachment witnesses, via @LACaldwellDC:
Catherine Croft, State Department special adviser for Ukraine: https://t.co/ChqlXwvaR3
Christopher Anderson, former special adviser to Ambassador Kurt Volker:https://t.co/QnlRh3kpKY
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) October 30, 2019
Catherine Croft, a foreign service officer, is testifying to impeachment investigators, and is expected to discuss efforts to oust the American ambassador to Ukraine. Follow our live briefing: https://t.co/sQUnhTCeou
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) October 30, 2019
Christopher ANDERSON has arrived for his impeachment deposition. pic.twitter.com/q0aQ2LLlr7
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) October 30, 2019
Diplomat Catherine Croft will reveal a new character in the shadow campaign against Yovanovitch, saying she received inexplicable phone calls from lobbyist Robert Livingston, “who told me that Ambassador Yovanovitch should be fired.” pic.twitter.com/83qBebDqiT
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) October 30, 2019
Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, State Department officials who served as senior advisers on Ukraine, plan to describe to impeachment investigators the unusual intrusion into U.S. foreign policy by Trump-aligned consultants https://t.co/aMGfdEjnL4
— POLITICO (@politico) October 30, 2019
— The Hill (@thehill) October 5, 2019
“Friends who read the testimony that Mr. Volker gave to Congress on Thursday also said they were frustrated that Mr. Volker was papering over his own role rather than taking responsibility for it.” https://t.co/QvHpdI0OAx
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) October 6, 2019
“Experience has demonstrated that the closer you get to Trump, the harder it is to stay clean,” said Ambassador Dan Fried. “Decent people are put in impossible positions. I don’t think Kurt deserves to be hurt. It could have been me.”
— Annie Karni (@anniekarni) October 6, 2019
Volker to resign today as executive director of the McCain Institute amid furor over Ukraine matter. https://t.co/0FIVcrF5pK
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) October 4, 2019
Text messages released by Intel Comm on convos with Ambassadors Volker, Sondland, Taylor, Ukraine prez aide, and Giuliani. Must read.https://t.co/fY0cR9w2aX
— Diplopundit (@Diplopundit) October 4, 2019
This is quite the exchange:
Taylor: "As I said on the phone, **I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.**"
Sondland: No, you're incorrect… Trump doesn't want a quid pro quo… "I suggest we stop the back and forth by text." pic.twitter.com/9pIsMCejer
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 4, 2019
What role did Sec. Pompeo play?
After defending Trump and denying quid pro quo, Sondland tells career diplomat Bill Taylor, "If you still have concerns, I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly."
S, being the Secretaryhttps://t.co/lavosjigqc
— Conor Finnegan (@cjf39) October 3, 2019
Texts provided to the committee by Volker clearly show a plan to trade a commitment by Ukraine to investigate alleged 2016 election interference in return for security assistance, despite Sondland's repeated "there is no quid pro quo." https://t.co/y86dWmwtLi
— Julian E. Barnes (@julianbarnes) October 4, 2019
Via WaPo Editorial Board:
Mr. Pompeo listened on July 25 while Mr. Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate that theory as well as the false story that Mr. Biden sought the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor to protect his son. He listened while Mr. Trump slandered the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch — a dedicated Foreign Service professional — whose tour in Kiev Mr. Pompeo had cut short.
Mr. Pompeo’s claim that the conversation was “in the context” of long-standing U.S. policy is demonstrably false.
Fortunately, one of those witnesses, former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt D. Volker, is due to testify on Thursday, and Ms. Yovanovitch has reportedly been scheduled for next week. They and other State Department professionals should not hesitate to tell Congress the truth about how Mr. Pompeo enabled the destruction of U.S. diplomacy.
Give this guy the “One Team” Award!
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is enabling the destruction of U.S. diplomacy, writes the Editorial Board https://t.co/eWjvAsLCtH
— Washington Post 🎃pinions (@PostOpinions) October 3, 2019
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— House Foreign Affairs Committee (@HouseForeign) October 2, 2019
PN1205 — 100th Congress (1987-1988) on his appointment to be “to be Consular Officers and/or Secretaries in the Diplomatic Service of the United States of America, as indicated: Consular Officers and Secretaries in the Diplomatic Service of the United States of America” on August 11, 1988.
On June 28, 1991: He was “Confirmed by the Senate by Unanimous Consent” for his appointment “as Foreign Service Officers of Class Four, Consular Officers and Secretaries in the Diplomatic Service of the United States of America (PN433 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992).
His archived state.gov biography did not indicate where he served his first posts only that “his prior Foreign Service assignments include Budapest, London, and several positions in the U.S. Department of State.” His Wikipedia bio includes service in Budapest, London and Brussels and places these assignment in the 1994–1997 bracket. This could mean a one 2-year assignment at one post, and then two other single year assignments at two posts. Junior officers typically serve 2-year assignments for their first two tours.
1994-1997: Budapest, London, Brussels, State Department ???
1997-1998: He was a State Department Legislative Fellow in the U.S. Senate from 1997-1998, working on foreign policy matters for Senator John McCain
1998-1999: He was First Secretary at the U.S. Mission to NATO responsible for the Membership Action Plan and Partnership for Peace issues according to his USNATO bio.
1999-2001: He was Deputy Director of the Private Office of then-NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson.
2001-2005?: He was Acting Senior Director for European and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC); He served at the NSC for four years, working as Director for NATO and West Europe according to his USNATO bio. If these are the correct years of his tenure at the NSC, it would have overlapped with Condi Rice’s tenure as National Security Advisor prior to her appointment as Secretary of State.
July 2005-June 2008: He was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs (State/EUR).
January 10, 2008: President George W. Bush announced his intent to nominate Volker as Permanent Representative to USNATO.
April 29, 2008: Volker was confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote to be USNATO Permanent Representative (PN1179 — Kurt Douglas Volker — Department of State 110th Congress (2007-2008):
“Kurt Douglas Volker, of Pennsylvania, a Career Foreign Service Officer of Class One, to be United States Permanent Representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary”
October 2, 2008: Volker was confirmed by the Senate by Voice Vote for “promotion into the Senior Foreign Service, as indicated: Career Members of the Senior Foreign Service of the United States of America, Class of Counselor” (PN2000 — 110th Congress (2007-2008).
May 2, 2008-May 15, 2009: History.state.gov indicates that Ambassador Volker served as U.S. Permanent Representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (USNATO) from May 2, 2008 – May 15, 2009. Typical tours for career appointees is three years.
2009? Resignation/Retirement from the U.S. Foreign Service? His Wikipedia entry only says that “Volker went into the private sector in 2009 …” We have not been able to find any entry for him on congress.gov after 2008.
December 18, 2009: Ambassador Volker was appointed as Independent Director of the Wall Street Fund, Inc.
May 24, 2012: He was named Executive Director of Arizona State University’s McCain Institute for International Leadership.
July 7, 2017: Tillerson Appointed Volker as Special Representative For Ukraine Negotiations . At the time of his appointment, Volker had been out of the State Department for several years. We don’t know how Tillerson picked him as special rep for Ukraine. But they had one shared connection — with the former secretary of state. CNN previously reported that Condi Rice was one of the Republican foreign policy veterans who “played a crucial role in convincing Trump’s team to select Tillerson to become America’s top diplomat.” Did Rice recommend Volker to Tillerson?
September 27, 2019: Volker resigned from post as Special Representative
Kurt Volker has resigned as US special envoy to Ukraine. https://t.co/k6mVX3UFJ1
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) September 28, 2019
Here is a fun fact I learned in the course of editing our Volker story: The McCain Institute, where Volker works, is funded in part by … the Open Society Foundations, which Rudy Giuliani claims was meddling in Ukraine to help Democrats https://t.co/eXWFIumVUd
— Blake News (@blakehounshell) September 28, 2019
BREAKING: Volker's resignation comes amid reports that he was involved in the Trump-Ukraine investigation https://t.co/BZWudBX3aZ
— The State Press (@statepress) September 27, 2019
Reminder that the Trump admin special envoy for Ukraine, Ambassador Kurt Volker, is also a “senior international adviser” at BGR Group—a lobbying & PR firm that continued to represent the Ukrainian Govt for almost 2 years after Volker became special envoy https://t.co/rZDZI2K8oZ
— Anna Massoglia (@annalecta) September 26, 2019
Ambassador Volker's unusual arrangement as President Trump’s special representative for Ukraine negotiations is attracting new attention amid revelations of his role in the ongoing Ukraine saga. https://t.co/JRXxA7nOJt
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) September 26, 2019
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) September 27, 2019
"On 26 July, a day after the call, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker visited Kyiv and met with President Zelenskyy… provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to "navigate" the demands that the President had made of Mr. Zelenskyy." pic.twitter.com/UpS5lDn4P4
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 26, 2019
“Pursuant to the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry, we are hereby transmitting a subpoena that compels you to produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 4, 2019,” the Chairmen wrote.
Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry,” the Chairmen wrote.
(Via Georgetown/ISD: Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch joins ISD after three years as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine (2016-2019). She previously served as Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia (2008-2011) and the Kyrgyz Republic (2005-2008). From 2012-2013, Ambassador Yovanovitch was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, where she was responsible for policy on European and global security issues. She also served as the Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2004-2005. Ambassador Yovanovitch served as the Dean of the School of Language Studies at the Foreign Service Institute, as well as the Deputy Commandant at the Eisenhower School at the National Defense University, where she also taught national security strategy. A Career Minister in the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Yovanovitch has received numerous Presidential and State Department Awards, including the Secretary’s Diplomacy in Human Rights Award. Ambassador Yovanovitch graduated from Princeton University and holds a master’s degree from the National Defense University.
(Via state.gov: Ambassador Kurt Volker is a leading expert in U.S. foreign and national security policy with some 30 years of experience in a variety of government, academic, and private sector capacities. Ambassador Volker serves as Executive Director of The McCain Institute for International Leadership, a part of Arizona State University based in Washington, DC. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, a Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Council, and a Trustee of IAU College in Aix-en-Provence, France. He is a consultant to international business, a member of the Board of Directors of CG Funds Trust, and had previously served as Managing Director, International, for BGR Group. He has taught Transatlantic Relations at The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. In July, 2017, Secretary of State Tillerson appointed Ambassador Volker as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations).
Note: BGR Group indicates Ambassador Volker as a Senior International Advisor. Also see Trump’s Ukraine envoy has a problem named Rudy Giuliani. Tillerson Appoints Ex-USNATO Ambassador Kurt Volker as Special Representative For Ukraine Negotiations (July 2017). As of late Friday, shortly after subpoenas for documents and scheduled depositions were announced, media reported the resignation of Ambassador Volker as Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations.
(Via state.gov: George Kent currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau at the U.S. Department of State, overseeing policy towards Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Previously, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Kyiv, Ukraine (2015-18). In 2014-15, George was the Senior Anti-Corruption Coordinator in the State Department’s European Bureau from 2014-15, leading development and advocacy of anti-corruption messages across Europe and Eurasia).
Via state.gov: T. Ulrich Brechbuhl currently serves as the Counselor of the Department. In this capacity, he provides strategic guidance to the Secretary on foreign policy, undertakes efforts to enhance U.S. diplomacy and public outreach, and conducts special diplomatic assignments as directed by the Secretary. Prior to joining the Department, Mr. Brechbuhl was president of Appenzeller Point, LLC, a family investing and consulting business. He also served as the executive chairman of Avadyne Health and on the board of five other healthcare and financial services businesses. Mr. Brechbuhl graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1986 and served as a cavalry officer with the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment patrolling the Iron Curtain before its fall. He also served with the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry in the U.S. Army’s First Calvary Division during the Persian Gulf War. After leaving active duty, Mr. Brechbuhl graduated from Harvard Business School, receiving his Master of Business Administration in 1994. Since then he worked with Bain and Company, Inc., and has served as the CFO and CEO of multiple companies, both private equity owned and publicly traded. Born in Switzerland, Mr. Brechbuhl grew up in Garden City, New York, and speaks French, German, and Swiss-German.
Via USEU: Gordon Sondland was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 29, 2018, as U.S. Representative to the European Union with the rank of Ambassador. He arrived in Brussels on July 8, 2018, and presented his credentials at the European Commission and to President of the European Council Donald Tusk on July 9, 2018. Ambassador Sondland is the Founder and CEO of Provenance Hotels, a national owner and operator of full-service boutique “lifestyle” hotels. Provenance and its affiliates (founded in 1985), currently own and/or operate 19 hotels in seven states and have another six hotels currently under development. Provenance creates unique, independent full-service, urban hotels, each with their own design, story and closely associated art collection. The Company employs over 1,000 associates between its hotels and its Portland headquarters. The Company has received critical acclaim for its hotels from such varied publications as The New York Times, Conde Nast, Travel and Leisure, and many other national and international publications. In 2015, Provenance consolidated more than half of its assets into a $500mm fund with a strong balance sheet and liquidity. The Fund anticipates reaching a gross asset value of approximately $1 billion in 2018.
Click here to read the subpoena letter.
Click here to read the deposition letter.