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Michael McKinley in the Capitol, Oct. 16. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Michael McKinley, former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, aired concerns about an increasingly politicized State Department to House committees leading an impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Wednesday, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks released to news outlets.

What he's saying: McKinley said he abruptly resigned last week after the State Department did not publicly support former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, following Trump disparaging her on a July 25 phone call to the Ukrainian president, the New York Times reports. McKinley said the State Department had discouraged diplomats from testifying to House investigators, per the Times.

What he's saying: Per NPR, McKinley said during his testimony, "The timing of my resignation was the result of two overriding concerns: the failure, in my view, of the State Department to offer support to Foreign Service employees caught up in the impeachment inquiry on Ukraine; and, second, by what appears to be the utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance domestic political objectives."

"I was disturbed by the implication that foreign governments were being approached to procure negative information on political opponents. I was convinced that this would also have a serious impact on foreign service morale and the integrity of our work overseas."
"Since I began my career in 1982, I have served my country and every President loyally. Under current circumstances, however, I could no longer look the other way as colleagues are denied the professional support and respect they deserve from us all."
Excerpt of McKinley's testimony

The state of play: The White House has refused to comply with House investigations into whether Trump jeopardized national security by allegedly pressing Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine.

Go deeper: Trump-Ukraine scandal: The key players, dates and documents

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.