After being dragged into political scandal by President Trump’s personal attorney, Kurt Volker, the U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, reportedly stepped down from his position on Friday. An official at Arizona State University, where Volker serves as executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership, reportedly confirmed Volker’s resignation from the State Department to the State Press, a campus newspaper. CNN also confirmed Volker's resignation separately, and the Associated Press cited a U.S. official confirming the news. Volker is said to have met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to deliver the news.
His departure comes after Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, appeared on Fox News to show what he said were text messages directly from Volker asking him to meet with a Ukrainian official. Giuliani claimed the messages were proof that he was asked by the State Department to speak with Ukraine's government about pursuing investigations into former vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. The issue is at the heart of a whistleblower complaint that sparked an impeachment inquiry against Trump earlier this week, with House Democrats expressing alarm over the whistleblower's allegation that the president attempted to extract a political favor from a foreign power ahead of 2020. The whistleblower said Volker, along with U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, had talked to Giuliani in an attempt to “contain the damage” and had spoken to Ukrainian officials about how to “navigate” Trump’s pressure campaign.