The five Trump officials Democrats want to depose

House Democrats have identified five State Department officials they intend to depose amid heightened scrutiny over President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE's dealings with Ukraine.

The Democrats sent the list of current and former officials in a letter to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo condemns China's expulsion of WSJ journalists Wall Street Journal 'deeply disappointed' by China's expulsion of journalists China expels three Wall Street Journal reporters MORE on Friday, saying each has been scheduled for an interview with House committees in October. Lawmakers sent a separate memo notifying Pompeo of a subpoena for documents relating to the administration's dealings with Ukraine.

The officials Democrats want to depose include Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine; Kurt VolkerKurt VolkerGOP senators request details on Hunter Biden's travel for probe Yovanovitch retires from State Department: reports Live coverage: Senators enter second day of questions in impeachment trial MORE, a former NATO ambassador who was Trump’s special representative for Ukraine negotiations; State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent; State Department counselor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl; and Gordon SondlandGordon SondlandCongress looks to strengthen hand in State Department following impeachment Trump unleashed: President moves with a free hand post-impeachment Donald Trump: Unrepentant, on the attack and still playing the victim MORE, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Four of the five officials were mentioned in a whistleblower complaint in which Trump is accused of pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Sanders by single digits in South Carolina: poll Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Biden will go after Bloomberg, Sanders at Las Vegas debate, aides say MORE for personal gain.

ADVERTISEMENT

Here is what you should know about the current and former administration officials.

Marie Yovanovitch

Yovanovitch served as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine until this past May, when she was recalled from her post. She had previously served in diplomatic roles going back to the George W. Bush administration, including as U.S. ambassador to Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.

When she was recalled from Kiev earlier this year by the Trump administration, House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerPelosi's staff huddles with aides in both parties on 'surprise' medical billing House panel approves bill to grant DC statehood Democrats bullish on bill to create women's history museum: 'It's an election year' MORE (D-Md.) and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Army says it isn't investigating Vindman | White House outlines legal justification for Soleimani strike | Service member dies in Africa Trump administration outlines legal justification for Soleimani strike Pompeo to testify on Iran in February MORE (D-N.Y.) issued a joint statement calling her ouster a “political hit job” and an attack by the White House on career officials.

In his July 25 call with Zelensky, Trump said that Yovanovitch was “bad news,” according to a declassified readout of the call released by the White House this week.

“The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that,” he said.

Yovanovitch and her recall appear in the whistleblower complaint, which claimed that her time in Ukraine was cut short due to allegations made by a former top Ukrainian prosecutor. The State Department later called the prosecutor's allegations "an outright fabrication."

The whistleblower complaint also notes a statement from Trump's personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe The Hill's review of John Solomon's columns on Ukraine Trump flexes pardon power with high-profile clemencies MORE that she was “removed...because she was part of the efforts against the President.”

Democrats have started pressing the Trump administration for details about her ouster.

Kurt Volker

Volker resigned Friday from his post as Trump's special envoy for Ukraine amid scrutiny over recent revelations regarding Trump's dealings with Ukraine.

The head of the D.C.-based nonprofit McCain Institute, Volker was appointed U.S. special representative for Ukraine negotiations in July 2017.

The whistleblower alleged that Volker visited Kiev with Sondland and met with Zelensky and other political figures the day after Trump's call with the Ukrainian president and that readouts indicated they did so to “navigate” demands made by Trump.  

The complaint also asserted that the officials spoke with Giuliani to try to “contain the damage” to national security after the Trump lawyer allegedly engaged with Ukrainian officials.

Giuliani told The Daily Beast that over the summer he briefed Volker and Sondland on his efforts in Ukraine and referred to Volker as his "main" State Department contact. 

Volker has also represented the George W. Bush administration as its ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

George Kent

Kent serves as the deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s European and Eurasian Bureau. He oversees policy toward Ukraine as well as Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, according to his department bio. He was also the deputy chief of mission in Kiev between 2015 and 2018. 

He first joined the foreign service in 1992. 

He has spoken about U.S. aid to Ukraine before, telling Voice of America that he was optimistic that the U.S. would continue giving money to European nation but adding, "I think there are some issues about the U.S. budgetary process being sorted out right now."

"And I think we will work very closely together with Ukrainians to ensure that we support Ukraine's abilities to defend itself effectively, and it has been the case the last five years, and it will also be the case going forward," he was quoted as saying earlier this month. 

Days after his comments, the U.S. released $250 million in military assistance to Ukraine.

Kent is not mentioned in the whistleblower complaint.

Ulrich Brechbuhl

Brechbuhl has been serving as counselor of the State Department since 2018 and previously worked at an investing and consulting firm. 

The whistleblower complaint said that he listened to the Trump-Zelensky call, though an unnamed senior official told CBS News this week that Brechbuhl was not on the call. 

He is also Pompeo’s friend and former business partner, according to The New York Times. He gives Pompeo guidance on foreign policy and conducts special assignments as directed by Pompeo.

Gordon Sondland

Trump appointed Sondland as the U.S. ambassador to the European Union last year. 

The whistleblower’s complaint claimed that Sondland and Volker visited Kiev and met with Zelensky and other figures following Trump’s call to the Ukrainian president. The readouts allegedly showed they went to "navigate" demands made by Trump.  

The complaint also said they talked to Giuliani in an attempt to “contain the damage” to national security after Giuliani allegedly engaged with Ukrainian officials. 

Giuliani told The Daily Beast that he had informed Sondland of his efforts in Ukraine. 

Sondland is the founder and CEO of Portland company Provenance Hotels, according to his government bio.