US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is heading to Germany to improve relations with Berlin as he comes under growing domestic criticism for his role in the events that led to the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.
The US State Department said Tuesday that Pompeo will meet with German officials to discuss the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a project that will deliver natural gas from Russia to Europe and is opposed by Washington.
Pompeo will visit five German cities, including one that is home to a US military base where he served as a tank commander in the 1980s. He will also join festivities to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The pipeline project has come under fire from the Trump’s administration and several European countries, who argue it will increase Europe’s dependence on Russia for energy.
Pompeo’s trip to Germany comes at a tumultuous time for the US State Department amid the release of transcripts of testimony in Trump’s impeachment inquiry that has prominently featured several American diplomats.
Several State Department employees have testified to the Democratic-led congressional inquiry that Pompeo failed to halt a White House effort to improperly press Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political rivals and did little or nothing to defend US diplomats from politically motivated attacks by the president and his supporters.
Democrats in the US House of Representatives launched an impeachment inquiry against Trump in September after a whistleblower alleged the Republican president pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had served as a director for Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
Democrats say Trump’s pressure on Ukraine was an abuse of power for personal gain and jeopardized national security.
An NBC News/Wall Street survey released last week found that half of Americans support Trump’s impeachment and removal from office.
This article has been adapted from its original source.