U.S. Will Work to Determine If Ex-Ambassador Yovanovitch Was Under Threat: Pompeo

The U.S. State Department will do everything necessary to determine whether former U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was under threat in Ukraine, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday.

Documents released this week indicated Lev Parnas, a Ukraine-born U.S. citizen, helped U.S. President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani investigate U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

They also showed Parnas was involved in monitoring Yovanovitch’s movements before Trump removed her in May. Yovanovitch, a respected career diplomat, was a key witness in the U.S. House of Representatives’ investigation of Trump before he was impeached in December.

Late on Friday, a Democratic aide said House Democrats will be sending additional text messages, photographs and other documents provided by Parnas for the Senate impeachment trial that gets underway in earnest next week.

Some of the documents appeared to show communications between Parnas and an aide to Representative Devin Nunes, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.

In his first comments on the issue since the documents were released on Tuesday evening, Pompeo said he had never met nor communicated with Parnas, adding that he thought much of what had been reported on the issue would be proven wrong.

“We will do everything we need to do to evaluate whether there was something that took place there,” he told conservative radio host Tony Katz in an interview.

“I suspect that much of what’s been reported will ultimately prove wrong, but our obligation, my obligation as secretary of state, is to make sure that we evaluate, investigate. Any time there is someone who posits that there may have been a risk to one of our officers, we’ll obviously do that,” he said.

Yovanovitch testified she had received a late night call from Washington warning her that she needed to return to the United States urgently and that there were concerns about her safety.

“NO HARM”

Her potentially illegal surveillance could be an important element of the impeachment trial on whether to remove Trump from office that formally began on Thursday.

Trump is charged with abusing his power and obstructing Congress for pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic political rival. Trump denies wrongdoing.

The documents released on Tuesday included encrypted messages between Parnas, a Florida businessman, and Robert F. Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate in Connecticut, disparaging Yovanovitch and apparently providing updates on her movements in Kiev.

“It is always the case at the Department of State that we do everything we can to ensure that our officers, not only our ambassadors but our entire team, has the security level that’s appropriate,” Pompeo said.

“We do our best to make sure that no harm will come to anyone, whether that was what was going on in our embassy in Baghdad last week or the work that was going on in Kyiv up and through the spring of last year when Ambassador Yovanovitch was there, and in our embassy in Kyiv even today,” he added.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry on Thursday also announced an investigation into the possible illegal surveillance of Yovanovitch. House prosecutors may call Parnas if the Senate permits testimony in the trial.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; additional reporting by Makini Brice, Susan Cornwell, Richard Cowan and Mark Hosenball; Editing by Paul Simao, Tom Brown and Sonya Hepinstall)

Responses

  1. Genital,

    Because those NOT the “inexperienced and non-knowledgable” were so gosh darn effective. Especially at holding on to their cushy positions.

    Appartchiks don’t need to be EFFECTIVE, DO THEIR JOBS, OR SUPPORT THEIR CURRENT BOSS/COUNTRY. They just have to stay employed.

  2. “Pompeo appears to be attempting to fulfill Screw’s desire to see inexperienced and non-knowledgeable folks in the State Department. WHO ELSE would want to work for Pompeo and Trump?” Phyllis

    In case anyone out there is still confused, what Phyllis just described here is one of the hallmark traits of fascism. Get rid of all of the experienced civil servants and fill their now empty positions with lackies, sycophants, cronies, and family.

    1. Because the “inexperienced and non-knowledgable” were so gosh darn effective.

  3. Just curious, Did the journalist ask Pompeo if his investigation began BEFORE Ukraine announced THEIR investigation on Thursday? Pompeo was listening to the “perfect phone call” in July when Trump told Zelensky “[Yovanovich] is going to go through some things.” Yovanovich was fired in May, 2019 and Pompeo did not investigate what Trump was referring?? Pompeo appears to be attempting to fulfill Screw’s desire to see inexperienced and non-knowledgeable folks in the State Department. WHO ELSE would want to work for Pompeo and Trump?

    1. “Pompeo appears to be attempting to fulfill Screw’s desire to see inexperienced and non-knowledgeable folks in the State Department. WHO ELSE would want to work for Pompeo and Trump?” Phyllis

      In case anyone out there is still confused, what Phyllis just described here is one of the hallmark traits of fascism. Get rid of all of the experienced civil servants and fill their now empty positions with lackies, sycophants, cronies, and family.

  4. The key word here is “career” diplomat. That smacks of entitlement AND being more important than serving a role at the will of the president UNDER WHOM SHE SERVED.

    Yovanovitch typifies everything that is wrong with “careerist” bureaucrats, politicians, etc. She served at the WHIM AND WILL of whoever sits in the Oval Office. That she now objects to that REALITY says everything about her.

    1. Yes, we get it. Trumpism wants inexperience diplomats with no knowledge of the country they will be serving in. Her objection is not that she was fired. A POTUS can fire anyone he wishes and if he had simply done so, no one would have noticed. Her objection was the smearing of her name and the conspiracies Trumpism appears essential to their survival. Trump in his July , 2019 “perfect phone call” told the Pres. of Ukraine, “She is going to go through some things.” Since he fired her in May, 2019, to what was he referring? That she would be called to testify in Trump’s impeachment hearings does not appear to be what he was referring. According to the “perfect phone call” Trump was the “first” to bring his conspiracies and smear of Yovanovich to Zelensky’s attention. There is no mention of the ambassador in the first phone call, so when and how did that occur?

    2. I must Admit, that your title says who you are. The non-“careerist” now squatting on the Oval seat in the Oval outer room is the one nobody with any love for our country should ever serve. Admit it ST.

  5. I’m trying to get beyond the ” so what? ” of all this.

  6. Any ambassador serves as a representative & employee of the president. It is not a civil service job with rights – it is an appointment. The President can fire any ambassador at any time for any reason or even for no reason at all.

    As for possible surveillance of the ambassador; since it is an appointed position, there is nothing wrong with checking to see if an ambassador is doing his/her job correctly and is doing it in a way that backs the President’s policies. Most employees of any business are “watched” either by people or by cameras” to make sure they are doing their job correctly.

    Yavanovich was an Obama holdover, appointed by Obama in 2016. Probably the biggest mistake Trump has made was in not firing ALL of Obama’s appointees the day after he was sworn in as President. Instead, because Trump was not a politician . he acted as any new CEO of a company would do and left in most of Obama’s appointees to see if they would continue to do their job correctly or not, before firing them if they did not work for the interests of the new CEO. FYI, & you can search this as true, Obama fired ALL of President Bush’s appointees within the 1st week of being sworn into office. Unfortunately, Trump being a businessman & not a politician, he did not know the “rules” for handling the swamp creatures of the D.C.political system.

    1. “there is nothing wrong with checking to see if an ambassador is doing his/her job correctly and is doing it in a way that backs the President’s policies.” Carl

      You seem way out of touch with the implications of who was supposedly surveilling the ambassador and for what reason.

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