Kurt Volker, US special envoy to Ukraine, has resigned, CNN confirmed on Friday evening. The State Press, the school paper of Arizona State University, first reported Volker’s resignation.
Volker – a Rex Tillerson appointee – played a prominent role in the declassified whistle-blower complaint at the heart of the spiraling scandal that plunged the Trump administration into crisis this week.
The day after the president’s controversial call with Volodymyr Zelensky, Volker, along with US ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, went to Kyiv and “provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to ‘navigate’” Trump’s demands, the complaint said.
On Friday, in a letter to Mike Pompeo, Eliot Engel, Elijah Cummings and Adam Schiff said they had scheduled depositions for five State Department officials over the next two weeks including Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who Trump maligned on the phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky, and who featured in the whistle-blower compliant.
Volker was on the list, along with George Kent, Ulrich Brechbuhl and Sondland.
According to the complaint, multiple US officials began to express “deep concern” about Rudy Giuliani’s extra-governmental activities in mid-May. State department officials, including Volker and Sonland, spoke to Giuliani as part of a damage control effort, the complaint alleged.
Additionally, the whistle-blower said Volker and Sondland talked with Zelensky’s aides and advisors about how to “understand and respond” to “differing messages” from official US channels on one hand, and Giuliani, on the other.
As CNN notes, “Zelensky joked with Volker about Giuliani… before the [July 25] phone call was made”.