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Holmes’ testimony was expected to be intriguing because he is the Kyiv embassy staffer who overheard EU Ambassador Gordon Sonland’s call with President Trump, the surprise witness revealed last week in the testimony of the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor.

But it turns out that Hale’s testimony is more revealing than expected, implicating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo more directly in the shabby treatment of U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. Amazingly, Pompeo allegedly spoke with Rudy Giuliani and with Sean Hannity around the time the State Department refused to publicly affirm its support for Yovanovitch, who was eventually recalled from her post early. Hale is a very senior career diplomat who is now a Senate-confirmed under secretary of state.

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David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.