Career US diplomat testifies at House impeachment inquiry on Trump’s Ukraine dealings

Updated October 16, 2019

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Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent leaves Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday. — AP
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent leaves Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday. — AP

WASHINGTON: The De­­m­­ocratic-led US House of Re­­­presentatives’ impeachment inquiry against Presi­dent Donald Trump on Tues­day questioned George Kent, a US career diplomat who has spent much of his career fighting corruption in Ukraine and elsewhere.

The investigation is focused on a July 25 phone call in which Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volo­d­y­myr Zelenskiy to look into unsubstantiated allegations against former Vice Presi­dent Joe Biden, a top contender for the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential election, and Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

The younger Biden, 49, denied doing anything improper in past work for a Ukrainian energy company but expressed regret in an interview with ABC News aired on Tuesday over how it has been used to attack his father. Joe Biden has rejec­ted Trump’s allegations of corruption.

Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for US policy towards six former Soviet republics inclu­­ding Ukraine, arrived on Capitol Hill wearing a red bow tie and ignored shouted questions from reporters.

Kent appeared after rece­i­ving a congressional subpoena. The State Depart­m­e­­nt, working with the White House, had directed him not to testify, an official invol­ved in the impeachment inquiry said.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2019