Dec 17, 2019

Report: Bill Taylor, top diplomat in Ukraine, set to leave post next year

In this image, Taylor sits and speaks while talking with his hands

Taylor testifies on Nov. 13. Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, who gave explosive testimony in the House impeachment inquiry, is expected to leave his position at the start of 2020, the New York Times and AP report.

Why it matters: Taylor was "one of the most senior State Department officials to openly challenge" White House plans to withhold $391 million in security aid to Ukraine, per the Times.

What they're saying: Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and claimed Taylor is being recalled in the same vein as former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, per AP.

  • Rudy Giuliani told the New Yorker on Monday that he needed Yovanovitch "out of the way" since she was going to make the investigations of the Bidens and the 2016 election "difficult for everybody."
  • Prior to being recalled, Yovanovitch was the target of a smear campaign carried out by Giuliani and journalist John Solomon.

Flashback: Taylor told House investigators that he understood Trump to be conditioning the release of military aid on the Ukrainian president's willingness to announce investigations into Trump's political rivals, including Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee.

Go deeper: Highlights from Bill Taylor's public testimony

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