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 John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE and his lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGrand jury adds additional counts against Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and and Igor Fruman Juan Williams: Breaking down the debates Giuliani criticizes NYC leadership: 'They're killing this city' MORE to investigate Trump's political opponents. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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 BidenSenate Republicans face tough decision on replacing Ginsburg What Senate Republicans have said about election-year Supreme Court vacancies Biden says Ginsburg successor should be picked by candidate who wins on Nov. 3 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.