Rudy Giulian (Photo by Zakaria ABDELKAFI / AFP)
It’s one of the stranger subplots in what may turn out to be the defining story of President Trump’s tenure.
Between March and April 2019, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch went from having a secure spot as the country’s representative in Kyiv to having nothing at all, fired amid jockeying by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani to pressure Ukraine into manufacturing dirt as part of the President’s 2020 reelection bid.
“There have been two American foreign policy approaches towards Ukraine- one that was conducted by the embassy and State Department,” former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer told TPM. “And a second one led by Rudy Giuliani which has been focused on enhancing the prospects for the presidential election next year.”
“Those two agendas are not the same,” he added.
While it must have been a surreal experience for Yovanovitch, a well-respected career diplomat, for House Democrats, it could be a boon for their burgeoning impeachment inquiry. A deposition with Yovanovitch is scheduled for Oct. 2, as the chamber prepares to consider whether to send a case for Trump’s removal to the Senate.
The State Department put out a statement on May 6, saying that Yovanovitch would conclude her posting to Kyiv “as planned.”
Pifer, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, described the State Department’s statement on Yovanovitch’s departure from Kyiv as “total bullshit.”
Within one week of Yovanovitch’s removal, Lutsenko began to walk back his statements, telling Bloomberg that there was “no evidence” of wrongdoing by the Bidens.