Ukraine Ambassador Yovanovitch Claims Trump Led ‘Concerted Campaign’ To Sack Her

WASHINGTON, DC -- Former US ambassador to Ukraine says Donald Trump mounted a campaign for her removal from the post for several months despite State Department officials assuring her she had “done nothing wrong”, according to reports.

Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, gave a deposition on October 11.

In May, Marie Yovanovitch was told to return to the US “on the next plane” available and that Mr Trump had “lost confidence” in her, according to prepared remarks delivered to Congress on Friday, The New York Times reported.

Her removal came before the 25 July phone call between Mr Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, which prompted a whistleblower complaint that has led to potential impeachment proceedings.

She says she discovered from the Department of State that Mr Trump had led a “concerted campaign” against her, pushing for her removal since summer 2018 based on what she called “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives”.

Ms Yovanovitch’s testimony bucks White House policy that warned officials would not participate in the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry process.

Ms Yovanovitch believes Mr Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and two businessmen, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, had called for her removal from Kyiv when their “personal financial ambitions” were “stymied” by the ambassador’s anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine.

Mr Parnas and Mr Fruman were arrested on Wednesday for campaign finance violations.

A 30-year veteran US diplomat who was appointed to Ukraine in 2016, Ms Yovanovitch expressed her “deep disappointment and dismay” with the administration in a sharp rebuke recounting the events that unfolded in her term.

In her defence of her ambassadorship and diplomacy abroad, she criticised how the administration’s foreign policy has allowed private interests to “circumvent professional diplomats for their own gain, not the public good” and warned that “harm will come when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system”.

She challenged the leadership of the State Department – which she says has been “attacked and hollowed out from within” – as well as Congress to “take action now to defend this great institution, and its thousands of loyal and effective employees”.

Source: The Independent