Kurt Volker, the president’s former special envoy to Ukraine, has stepped down from yet another post, his executive directorship of the McCain Institute, amid the fallout from House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
Volker resigned from his role at the State Department a little over a week ago, and his resignation as the head of the D.C.-based think tank came days after he appeared as Democrats’ first witness in their widening impeachment probe, turning over damaging text messages that appeared to undermine President Donald Trump’s claims that he did not seek to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political opponents.
In a statement released Monday announcing his departure, Volker specifically referenced the growing Ukraine scandal and the ensuing media frenzy.
“Today, I informed ASU President Crow and Mrs. McCain that I believe the recent media focus on my work as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations risks becoming a distraction from the accomplishments and continued growth of the Institute, and therefore I am stepping down as Executive Director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership,” he said, referring to the wife of the late Sen. John McCain, for whom the think tank was founded, and the president of Arizona State University, which is a partner of the institute.
Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post on Volker and the McCain Institute.
According to CNN, Volker told staff at the Institute last week that he had no plans to resign.
In a statement, Cindy McCain said the executive committee of the trustees has asked Fran Townsend to serve as trustee representative of the think tank to coordinate the transition to a new executive director. In the meantime, Nick Rasmussen has been asked by ASU leadership to serve as acting executive director.