Speed Reads

Trump impeachment hearings

State Department official George Kent calls out Rudy Giuliani for attempting to 'smear' his colleagues

It didn't take long for Rudy Giuliani to come up in the first impeachment hearing.

After Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) gave their opening statements Tuesday, top State Department official George Kent took the floor. He promptly gave a history lesson of America's involvement with Ukraine and, at least three times, condemned attempts by Giuliani and his associates to "smear" his State Department colleagues.

Early in his testimony, Kent described how it was "unexpected, and most unfortunate, to watch some Americans ... launch attacks on dedicated public servants." The fact that Kent mentioned those Americans as being "allied" with "corrupt Ukrainians" made it clear he was talking about Giuliani, who worked with recently arrested Ukrainians Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman was allegedly the driving force behind Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch's ouster by President Trump. Later, Kent called out Giuliani by name.

Kent also noted that while he'd raised concerns regarding Hunter Biden's spot on the board of Ukrainian company Burisma, he "did not witness any effort by any U.S. official to shield Burisma from scrutiny." "I do not believe the United States should ask other countries to engage in selective politically associated investigations or prosecutions against opponents of those in power," Kent continued.