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impeachment inquiry

Diplomat reportedly tried to support ousted Ukraine ambassador but was blocked by State Department

Despite instructions from the White House not cooperate, the latest State Department official testified before Congress on Saturday in the House impeachment inquiry.

Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs, appeared before lawmakers under a subpoena Saturday in a closed-door deposition related to Congress' investigation of the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine. Reeker told House members he planned to release a statement in support of Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, after she was forced out of the role by the Trump administration because she didn't agree with the White House's foreign policy practices in Ukraine, a person familiar with the testimony said. Ultimately, Reeker reportedly testified, he was blocked from doing so by David Hale, the under secretary of state for political affair and the No. 3 official in the State Department.

Reeker also reportedly said he was aware of a plan to freeze military aid to Ukraine, but he was not aware of why it was being held and had no knowledge of any alleged quid-pro-quo scheme. One anonymous source told Politico that Reeker was able to provide a good amount of information about the Yovanovitch situation, but "he doesn't really have much knowledge or involvement in the rest of the story." Read more at NPR and Politico.