Top State official warned of Trump pressure campaign against Ukraine: report

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent reportedly raised concerns earlier this year about what he described as pressure from President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE and his lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani again suspended from YouTube over false election claims Sacha Baron Cohen calls out 'danger of lies, hate and conspiracies' in Golden Globes speech Biden administration buys 100,000 doses of Lilly antibody drug MORE to investigate Trump's political opponents. 


Sources told The New York Times that Kent, who oversees Ukraine policy, expressed concern as far back as March about Giuliani's role in a "disinformation" campaign that aimed to smear people including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenIntercept bureau chief: minimum wage was not 'high priority' for Biden in COVID-19 relief South Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Obama alum Seth Harris to serve as Biden labor adviser: report MORE and then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. 

Kent was deposed on Tuesday as part of the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.  

Connolly also confirmed the New York Times report that Kent had raised concerns about the matter as early as March. 
Kent also has reportedly said he was involved in past efforts to convince Ukraine to investigate corruption. For example, he reportedly pushed prosecutors to probe Mykola Zlochevsky, who owned the energy company where Biden's son Hunter Biden was a board member. 

Democrats are investigating the president following revelations that he pushed Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

The whistleblower's complaint alleges that White House officials believed Trump was using his office for a political gain during a July 25 call where he pressured Ukraine's leader to investigate Biden, and that officials sought to cover up the call. 

Kent's testimony on Tuesday follows last week's testimony from Yovanovitch, who was recalled from her post in May, and former White House aide Fiona Hill.

Olivia Beavers contributed to this story.