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.”