Hale is a career ambassador, having served in Pakistan, Lebanon, and Jordan, and as under secretary of state for political affairs, is ranked below Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his deputy secretary, John Sullivan. Democrats want answers from him about the removal of former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
But Ms Yovanovitch said she had been told by Ukrainian officials a year ago that Mr Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was in touch with Ukraine's former top prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko "and that they had plans, and that they were going to, you know, do things, including to me".
Yovanovitch was recalled in May, but a memorandum of President Donald Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was released on September 25 - it revealed that Trump attacked the former ambassador repeatedly during the call.
On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that David Hale will say under oath and that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other high ranking diplomats determined that defending former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch would hurt the chances of unfreezing US military aid to the country.
"From the time that Ambassador Yovanovitch departed Ukraine until the time that he came to tell me that he was departing, I never heard him say a single thing about his concerns with respect to the decision that was made", Pompeo said. The transcript included Trump telling the Ukrainian that Yovanovitch was "going to go through some things".
McKinley described the lack of a State Department response as "puzzling and baffling" because he had confirmed with Yovanovitch that she would "welcome" a statement of support, according to his testimony.
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But then he dug in, saying McKinley said in his opening statement to the House that "he wasn't particularly involved in the Ukraine file, so it's not surprising that when Ambassador Yovanovitch returned to the United States, he didn't raise that issue with me..." "It shouldn't surprise anyone that in May, when that took place, he didn't say a thing to me". The transcript of McKinley's deposition, in which McKinley said he raised the issue three times, was released by House Democrats last week.
"It would be in part to protect Ambassador Yovanovitch", McKinley testified, explaining what he was told of Pompeo's reasoning.
"At the end of the day, Pompeo's audience is sitting in 1600 Pennsylvania and it's got to be hard when you see the president the vice president, the White House spokeswoman all attacking you and your leader does not speak up for you", Pifer said.
The State Department denied those allegations at the time, but they appear to have influenced Trump's decision to recall her.
"I think at that point I said, well, you know".
In the October 20 interview with ABC, Pompeo offered a broad blanket denial that McKinley had ever approached him about a statement at any point from Yovanovitch's return in May until McKinley's resignation at the end of September.