Charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine William Taylor speaks to the media in June 2019 during a briefing in Kiev, Ukraine.
House Democrats hope to depose Bill Taylor, a career diplomat who was serving in the top U.S. post in Kiev and who recently drew attention for a text to colleagues saying, "I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."
No interview has been nailed down and the White House and State Department will almost surely try to block Taylor's testimony. Given that scenario, it's possible Taylor could resign from his Kiev detail, a posting that drew him out of retirement, but it's not immediately clear what he would choose to do. According to CNN, Taylor has been described as a "quiet guy" who is respected among his colleagues and typically places policy above politics.
The news came on a busy Friday morning in which the U.S. ambassador who was abruptly recalled from Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, arrived to testify to congressional investigators behind closed doors. Additionally, the Ambassador to the E.U. who played the role of Trump whisperer in the tranche of texts regarding diplomatic efforts in Ukraine, Gordon Sondland, reversed course Friday morning and indicated he would give congressional testimony after originally being ordered by the State Department not to cooperate with the congressional inquiry.
If House Democrats manage to go two out of three on these key players, it will likely go a long way toward illuminating what was happening behind the scenes at the State Department and even the White House. But if congressional investigators go three for three, it will represent a virtual home run among the U.S. diplomats who have emerged as central players in the Ukraine drama since Kurt Volker, the U.S. special envoy to Ukraine, has already been deposed. Testimony from those central figures will be key to understanding the roles that certain top Trump officials at the State Department and the White House played in Trump’s efforts to extort Ukraine for his personal gain.