Marie Yovanovitch Testified She Felt Personally Threatened By Trump & Giuliani
Former ambassador to the Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, told House impeachment investigators she felt threatened by President Donald Trump during her tenure in Ukraine, according to a transcript of her closed-door testimony that were released Monday.
She testified that she saw an agenda set in motion that furthered the politics interests of certain individuals rather than the interests of the U.S. She also said she was shocked to learn that Trump told the president of Ukraine president during their July 25 phone call that she “was going to through some things.”
“I was shocked. I mean, I was very surprised that President Trump would — first of all, that I would feature repeatedly in a presidential phone call, but secondly, that the president would speak about me or any ambassador in that way to a foreign counterpart,” Yovanovitch testified. “I was very concerned. I still am.”
Former senior State Department adviser Michael McKinley, whose testimony was also released on Monday, told investigators that he was dismayed by the unwarranted animosity against Yovanovitch. He added that the publication of the rough transcript of the July 25 phone call helped motivate him to resign.
“When the transcript was released and, frankly, the information that just poured out every day from the media … it became clear to me that State Department officials, if not the State Department itself, were being drawn again into the domestic political arena in some way,” he said. “And I repeat: I feel that this is not the way we maintain the integrity of the work we do beyond our borders. We’re meant to project non-partisanship overseas.”
Yovanovitch, who was unexpectedly recalled from her position in May, said that her removal could create a “dangerous precedent” that “private interests and people who don’t like a particular American ambassador could combine to, you know, find somebody who was more suitable for their interests.”
In her testimony, she noted that Ukraine’s former prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko had also been displeased by Yovanovitch’s anticorruption efforts, as it undermined his work. She added that Giuliani and Lutsenko had maintained a solid relationship.
“Basically, it was people in the Ukrainian Government who said that Mr. Lutsenko, the former prosecutor general, was in communication with Mayor Giuliani, and that they had plans, and they were going to, you know, do things, including to me,” she said.