Former Ukraine envoy testifies Trump pushed to oust her

  • Former Ukraine envoy testifies Trump pushed to oust her

Former Ukraine envoy testifies Trump pushed to oust her

In the months leading up to Yovanovitch's removal, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his associates aided in an apparent campaign to have her recalled. Sessions declined to identify who informed him about her disparaging language.

It had been unclear right up until Yovanovitch arrived whether she would appear because she still works for the State Department.

One of the foreign-born businessmen arrested on Thursday, Parnas, sought the help of a USA congressman - identified by a person familiar with the matter as Republican Pete Sessions - to get Trump to remove Yovanovitch, according to the indictment.

Both people familiar with the inquiry told the Times that the investigation into Giuliani was tied to that of Fruman and Parnas. "My entire motivation for sending the letter was that I believe that political appointees should not be disparaging the president, especially while serving overseas", he said.

Democrats have called her removal politically motivated.

Her testimony in the face of Trump's opposition won't be the last as the congressional panels hold a flurry of depositions to investigate the president's efforts to jump-start foreign investigations that could help his 2020 reelection campaign.

The ambassador's first scheduled deposition earlier this week was blocked by the state department.

Marie Yovanovitch, who was abruptly recalled as the U.S. envoy to Ukraine in May, appeared for a closed-door deposition, according to Democratic politicians leading the inquiry, after she had been told by the State Department at the behest of the White House not to show up.

On the phone call with Zelenksy, Trump referred to Yovanovitch as "bad news".

"She's going to go through some things", Trump added.

A Barack Obama-appointee, Ms Yovanovitch was confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate and served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from August 2016 until last May.

As she was speaking, reports emerged that more whistleblowers were coming forward in the growing scandal over Trump's efforts to persuade foreign leaders to deliver compromising information about his political rivals. Multiple State Department officials have complained to TIME that Pompeo is failing to defend the professionals in the department he leads.

Schiff called Yovanovitch a "model diplomat" and expressed gratitude and "appreciation" for her coming to testify before members today. "She's telling the truth, she's credible and she should not be penalized for that".

"Equally fictitious is the notion that I am disloyal to President Trump", Ms Yovanovitch said.

But new details about the sequence inside the White House suggest that concerns about the call and events leading up to it were profound even among Trump's top advisers, including Bolton and then-acting deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman. "If anything, she is no news. She always avoided attention because she thought it interfered with quiet diplomacy", one US diplomat who worked with her earlier in her career said earlier this week.

"The woman was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news", Mr Trump said.

Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky said during a "marathon" media session Thursday that he would "happily" investigate potential interference by Ukrainian and Democratic officials in the 2016 USA election, according to the Associated Press.

The official had told her that the president had pushed for her removal since the middle of past year, even though the department believed "I had done nothing wrong", she said in the the prepared statement.