David Hale, a high-ranking official in the State Department, is testifying behind closed doors before House impeachment investigators on Wednesday, the first witness in the probe to participate in a deposition this week.
Hale intends to tell Congress that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was reluctant to defend his then-Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch because it would hurt efforts to get Ukraine military aid, according to the Associated Press. The AP also reported that Hale will testify that there was worry about the reaction of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, whose efforts in the country have been described by other witnesses as a shadow foreign policy outside of State Department channels.
Two witnesses who were supposed to testify Tuesday did not, and all four witnesses who were supposed to testify Monday also did not show up. Several others scheduled for this week have indicated they are not coming.
Trump appointed Hale as the under secretary of state for political affairs in 2018.
His path to foreign affairs began with his grandparents
A native of Bridgewater, New Jersey, Hale graduated from Bridgewater-Raritan East High School. He then graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and joined the foreign service in 1984. He has a rank of career ambassador.
In his opening statement submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for his confirmation hearing in 2018, he said his “call to public service” started with his grandparents Joseph and Elizabeth Kler, who were world travelers. His grandfather was the first staff physician and first team physician for Rutgers University in 1929. Joseph Kler also founded the infirmary at the university in 1931, according to The New York Times.
“He opened up my eyes to the world beyond Bridgewater,” Hale said about his grandfather in a 2018 interview with My Central Jersey.
He has extensive experience in foreign affairs
Hale was executive assistant to then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during the Clinton administration. He was director for Israel-Palestinian affairs from 2001 to 2003. He became ambassador to Jordan in 2005. In 2008, he became deputy assistant secretary of state for Israel, Egypt and the Levant. He was deputy special envoy in 2009 and special envoy for Middle East peace from 2011 to 2013. He was US ambassador to Lebanon from 2013 until 2015, when he became ambassador to Pakistan.
He has received numerous awards, including a Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Service in 2012. In 2013, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave him the Distinguished Service Award, according to an archived State Department website.
He said in his 2018 opening statement that his mentors include Albright and the late Ambassador Armin Meyer.
This story has been updated with additional developments Wednesday.