Marie Yovanovitch Calls Out Trump Admin: ‘How is it That Foreign Corrupt Interests Could Manipulate Our Government?’
Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, testified before the House Intelligence Committee as part of the President Donald Trump impeachment inquiry about the “smear campaign” that led to her ouster from the post.
Yovanovitch was recalled from Kiev following a pressure campaign from Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, acting on the president’s reported frustration that she was not pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.
In her opening statement, the lifelong American foreign service official lamented that some Ukrainians stymied anti-corruption efforts — and were even helped by Americans, including Giuliani. “What continues to amaze me is that they found Americans willing to partner with them and, working together, they apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a U.S. Ambassador,” she said.
“How could our system fail like this?” Yovanovitch asked. “How is it that foreign corrupt interests could manipulate our government?”
Yovanovitch spent much of her testimony batting away conspiracy theories spread by Giuliani, who had based his smears on false claims from Ukraine’s former chief prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko.
“Mr. Giuliani should have known those claims were suspect, coming as they reportedly did from individuals with questionable motives and with reason to believe that their political and financial ambitions would be stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine,” Yovanovitch said.
“Our Ukraine policy has been thrown into disarray, and shady interests the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an American Ambassador who does not give them what they want,” she argued.
“After these events, what foreign official, corrupt or not, could be blamed for wondering whether the Ambassador represents the President’s views? And what U.S. Ambassador could be blamed for harboring the fear that they cannot count on our government to support them as they implement stated U.S. policy and defend U.S. interests?”
Yovanovitch concluded by criticizing the State Department for failing to stop foreign policy from falling into disarray, claiming the agency “is being hollowed out.”
Watch above, and read her full opening statement here.
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