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Pompeo Emerges as a Major Trump Enabler in Ukraine Affair

On Wednesday evening, a Pentagon official provided new details about when the Ukrainians might have learned about the hold on military aid. Laura K. Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, told Congress that officials in Ukraine may have been aware by July 25 that security aid had been frozen — much earlier than previously known. That was the same day Mr. Trump talked on the phone with the president of Ukraine.

She said the Ukrainian Embassy asked her staff about the aid on July 25, and also cited emails from that day between members of her staff and State Department officials in which diplomats said the embassy knew about the hold.

As Mr. Sondland testified, Mr. Pompeo’s future came up at a separate congressional session, the Senate confirmation hearing of Stephen E. Biegun, the envoy on North Korea nominated to be deputy secretary of state. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat in the hearing, said Mr. Biegun could end up as acting secretary of state “for quite some time” given expectations that Mr. Pompeo would resign early next year to run for Senate.

He added that Mr. Pompeo could soon realize it is “untenable to continue making decisions” on agency documents related to impeachment, so Mr. Biegun might assume that responsibility.

Private testimony by David Hale, the third-ranking State Department official, has also implicated Mr. Pompeo. In spring 2019, Mr. Hale said, Mr. Pompeo looked into a right-wing campaign against Ms. Yovanovitch that had been orchestrated by Mr. Giuliani and his associates. Mr. Pompeo even called up Sean Hannity, the Fox News personality who is a Trump ally, to ask for details of wrongdoing by Ms. Yovanovitch, but concluded “there was no evidence,” Mr. Hale said, according to a transcript. (Mr. Hannity has denied any such call.)

Yet, in April, Mr. Pompeo complied with Mr. Trump’s demand to oust Ms. Yovanovitch. After she was suddenly ordered to fly back to Washington that month for meetings, Mr. Pompeo’s deputy delivered the news of her professional future. Mr. Pompeo has refused to defend her and the other top diplomats now under attack by Mr. Trump, leading to a quiet revolt against him by career officials and denunciations by former officials.

For many in the diplomatic corps, the latest testimonies confirm the troubling portrait of Mr. Pompeo that has emerged this year. Some say he should resign, to restore leadership and correct the agency’s direction.

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