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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

When diplomat Marie L. Yovanovitch (former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine) publicly testified as part of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, she made it clear that Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, did everything he could to get her fired from her Ukraine post. American Oversight, a liberal watchdog group, filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain information about Yovanovitch’s firing —and internal U.S. State Department e-mails and documents released on Friday, the New York Times reports, show that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also played a significant role in Yovanovitch being fired.

“The e-mails indicate that Mr. Pompeo spoke at least twice by telephone with Mr. Giuliani in March as Mr. Giuliani was urging Ukraine to investigate Mr. Trump’s rivals, and trying to oust a respected American ambassador to Ukraine, Marie L. Yovanovitch, who had been promoting anti-corruption efforts in the country,” Edward Wong and Kenneth P. Vogel report in the Times. “Mr. Pompeo ordered Ms. Yovanovitch’s removal the next month.”

Wong and Vogel go on to report that “as part of the effort to oust her, Mr. Giuliani and his associates encouraged news outlets favorable to the president to publicize unsubstantiated claims about Ms. Yovanovitch’s disloyalty to Mr. Trump.”

Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, asserted that the documents released on Friday show “a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to Secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani’s smear campaign against a U.S. ambassador.”

With public testimony this month from Yovanovitch, Ambassador William Taylor and other diplomats, House Democrats set to demonstrate that on July 25, Trump abused his authority by trying to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Yovanovitch, Democrats have stressed, was ousted because Giuliani and other Trump supporters saw her as a threat to the investigation of the Bidens that they wanted.

Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has said that Pompeo was guilty of an “obstruction of this investigation.”

Wong and Vogel note, “In an interview last month, Mr. Giuliani acknowledged that he spoke to Mr. Pompeo in late March — the same period as the calls listed in the e-mails released Friday — to relay information he had gathered during his Ukrainian research.”

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Doug Mastriano

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Doug Mastriano is a QAnon conspiracy theorist and January 6 insurrectionist who this week won the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania governor. Mastriano is also anti-Muslim: He previously shared an image with the words, “Stop Islam” and a post claiming that “the American People have a right to be fearful of the prospect of a large number of muslims being elected to congress, specifically if they practice Sharia law.”

In addition to running for governor, Mastriano is a Pennsylvania state senator, a right-wing commentator, and a frequent guest in right-wing media. He regularly pushes lies about the 2020 election being stolen from former President Donald Trump.

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