Former Ukraine envoy Volker to resign as head of McCain Institute
© Getty Images

Kurt VolkerKurt VolkerGOP lawmaker: Democrats cherry-picking what to leak in impeachment inquiry In testimony, Dems see an ambassador scorned, while GOP defends Trump Cracks emerge in White House strategy as witness testifies MORE, the former State Department special envoy for Ukraine who stepped down last week amid the rising controversy over the Trump administration's dealings with Kiev, will also resign Friday from his position as the executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership.  

Leadership at the institute, a Washington, D.C.-area research group affiliated with Arizona State University, had been privately discontented with Volker’s dual role in their organization and in the State Department, The New York Times reported on Friday.


Volker was planning to leave later this year, a source familiar with Volker told the newspaper, but he decided to resign this week amid House Democrats' impeachment push against President TrumpDonald John TrumpWHCA calls on Trump to denounce video depicting him shooting media outlets Video of fake Trump shooting members of media shown at his Miami resort: report Trump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage MORE.

Volker sent a note to the McCain Institute’s board of trustees last week explaining that lawmakers called him to testify Thursday, but he said “Despite this news, after two years of great team work and dedication, Ukraine is stronger and closer to seeing its sovereignty and territorial integrity restored than before, and that's what's important!" AZCentral reported.

Volker answered questions during a marathon 10-hour deposition before lawmakers Thursday regarding Trump's interactions with Kiev. Democratic representatives sought to validate claims from a whistleblower complaint alleging that Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage Schiff: Whistleblower testimony might not be necessary Trump warns Democrats will lose House seats over impeachment MORE and his son, Hunter Biden, as he tied up billions in military aid to the country.

“We saw further evidence that there was a shadow shakedown going on,” Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael Swalwell2020 Presidential Candidates NBA draws bipartisan backlash over China response Former Ukraine envoy Volker to resign as head of McCain Institute MORE (D-Calif.), an Intelligence Committee member, told reporters after the deposition.

However, Republicans said Volker’s testimony exonerated the president of any wrongdoing and raised new evidence against Hunter Biden.

"The administration is in an even stronger place today than they were this morning as a product of Ambassador Volker coming to testify,” Rep. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinGOP lawmaker: Democrats cherry-picking what to leak in impeachment inquiry Sunday Show Preview: Trump's allies and administration defend decision on Syria He who must not be named: How Hunter Biden became a conversation-stopper MORE (R-N.Y.), said Thursday.

Volker also released text messages to lawmakers involving several Trump administration officials, as well as Trump’s personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiRand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter Sunday shows — Officials rush to Trump's defense on Syria, sanctions Cruz: 'Of course' it's not appropriate to ask China to investigate Bidens MORE, discussing the administration’s apparent efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

The Hill has reached out to the McCain Institute for comment.