David Hale, the third-highest ranking U.S. diplomat, is expected to testify before House impeachment investigators on Wednesday, two people with knowledge of the matter told The Washington Post.
Hale is a career ambassador, having served in Pakistan, Lebanon, and Jordan, and as under secretary of state for political affairs, is ranked below Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his deputy secretary, John Sullivan. Investigators will likely ask Hale why the State Department refused to issue a statement supporting former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Yovanovitch was the target of a smear campaign, with Rudy Giuliani and others circulating unfounded conspiracy theories about her in order to get the ambassador removed from her post.
Many diplomats were upset by the false rumors being spread about Yovanovitch. During his testimony to investigators, Philip Reeker, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said he told Hale the State Department should release a statement backing Yovanovitch, a person with knowledge of the matter told the Post. Later, Reeker revealed, people who worked for Hale told him that no statement would be issued.