Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make his first trip to Ukraine this week to "reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” as the country works to end a six-year military conflict with Russian-backed separatists, according to the State Department.

Why it matters: Allegations that President Trump withheld desperately needed military aid to Ukraine to pressure its government to investigate his political rivals have led to his impeachment for abuse of power. The Senate is expected to hold a trial in January.

Between the lines: Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine who testified in the impeachment inquiry about his concerns over Trump's pressure campaign, has been instructed to leave his post in Kiev before his tenure expires, per AP.

  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Taylor is being made to leave his position shortly before Pompeo’s arrival so that the secretary can avoid meeting or being photographed with the ambassador.

The backdrop: Pompeo appointed Taylor as acting ambassador after Marie Yovanovitch was ousted from the post following a smear campaign led by the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani and conservative columnist John Solomon.

  • Taylor’s tenure by law could have lasted until mid-January. His sudden departure has prompted complaints from lawmakers who say it could damage relations with Ukraine and send a poor message to career diplomats.

Go deeper: Ukraine, Russian-backed rebels swap prisoners in step toward ending war

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 32,390,204 — Total deaths: 985,302 — Total recoveries: 22,286,345Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m ET: 7,020,967 — Total deaths: 203,481 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,476,600Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

White House pushes to uphold TikTok ban

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday filed legal opposition to TikTok's request to delay a ban on downloading the app, with a federal judge in Washington scheduling a hearing on the request for Sunday morning.

Why it matters: The White House could have simply postponed the ban on its own for another week or two, as it did last Friday. This move suggests it's seeking to use the ban as leverage in ongoing negotiations.

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