William Taylor, the top American diplomat in Ukraine and an impeachment inquiry witness, has resigned from his ambassadorship role in the country, the U.S. embassy announced on Thursday.
The Embassy stated Thursday that Kristina Kvien has taken over Taylor’s role. She was serving as deputy chief of mission at the embassy.
In a video message posted Thursday, Kvien said that “While the embassy’s leadership is changing, our policy of strong support for Ukraine remains steady.”
Taylor, a West Point graduate and long-time diplomat, testified twice in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, providing key testimony. Taylor succeeded ousted Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in June when she was unexpectedly removed from her position by the White House.
Trump removed Yovanovitch from her post in April, after his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, targeted her with what other diplomats described as a “smear” campaign.
Taylor emphasized in his testimony that an irregular backchannel existed regarding policy in Ukraine, and said that after security assistance was held up, “The irregular policy channel was running contrary to the goals of longstanding U.S. policy.”
Taylor told lawmakers that he had heard from a Ukraine official that Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky “did not want to be used as a pawn in the U.S. re-election campaign.”
He also said it was “crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”
The inquiry built upon Trump’s phone call on July 25 to Zelensky, when he urged the investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden while withholding nearly $400 million in congressionally-approved military aid.
Trump was impeached in December by the House of Representatives for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
— U.S. Embassy Kyiv (@USEmbassyKyiv) December 31, 2019