Marie Yovanovitch
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Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch
President Trump decided to recall the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine based on foreign allegations that his own political appointees at the State Department regarded as false, according to the ousted envoy.

"I — like my colleagues at the State Department — have always believed that we enjoyed a sacred trust with our government," [Former] Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch said in her prepared statement to House lawmakers on Friday.
"We believe in America and its special role in the world. We also believe that, in return, our government will have our backs and protect us if we come under attack from foreign interests. That basic understanding no longer holds true."
Yovanovitch, 60, rooted that assessment in the circumstances surrounding the abrupt end to her tenure as the top U.S. diplomat in Kyiv, a controversy that proved a foreshock of the political earthquake caused by Trump's push for Ukrainian officials to investigate his Democratic rivals. The ambassador denied any political bias against Trump, but argued that he was duped by former Ukrainian officials who regarded her anti-corruption efforts as a threat.
"Our efforts were intended, and evidently succeeded, in thwarting corrupt interests in Ukraine, who fought back by selling baseless conspiracy theories to anyone who would listen. Sadly, someone was listening, and our nation is the worse off for that."
Her prepared statement is an extraordinary rebuke of a sitting president by a career foreign service officer, all the more scathing because she remains a government employee. House Democrats issued a subpoena for her testimony after the the Trump administration objected to her appearing in the absence of a State Department attorney.

"We are not concerned with any information Yovanovitch might share, because the president did nothing wrong," the president's team wrote in talking points that leaked during her interview.
"Only State Department lawyers would be able to provide Yovanovitch with the correct counsel on what is classified or privileged and without that counsel there is serious danger that she could breach her obligations as a current employee not to reveal such information without authorization."
Trump soured on Yovanovitch due to allegations that she had criticized him personally and had interfered to protect former Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter, from an investigation by Ukrainian officials. He described her as "bad news" in the July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that lit the fuse on a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry. He held that view, Yovanovitch said, even though Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan didn't believe the allegations against her.

"[Sullivan] said that the President had lost confidence in me and no longer wished me to serve as his ambassador," Yovanovitch testified, recalling the April meeting in which she learned that she was being ousted.
"He added that there had been a concerted campaign against me, and that the Department had been under pressure from the President to remove me since the Summer of 2018. He also said that I had done nothing wrong and that this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause."
The diplomat, who was appointed ambassador to Kyrgyzstan and then Armenia by George W. Bush before Barack Obama tapped her for the Ukraine job, maintained that it is "fictitious [to suggest] that I am disloyal to President Trump." She echoed the testimony of another former top U.S. diplomat for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, in suggesting that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani fed Trump misinformation given him by corrupt Ukrainians.

Yovanovitch said of the ex-mayor, who is now Trump's personal attorney:
"I do not know Mr. Giuliani's motives for attacking me, but individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine."
Yovanovitch, now a diplomatic fellow at Georgetown University, suggested that Trump's willingness to listen to Ukrainian attacks will do an enduring harm to U.S. diplomats.
"The harm will come when private interests circumvent professional diplomats for their own gain, not the public good. The harm will come when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system."