U.S. ambassador to European Union to testify on Thursday, won’t share documents

Суббота, 12 Окт, 2019

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch defended her tenure as ambassador in testimony before the House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry, telling lawmakers Friday she was "incredulous" the government recalled her "based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives". She did not respond to questions posed by reporters. The White House the same day said it would no longer cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.

Democrats have called her removal politically motivated.

It was sparked by a whistleblower complaint about a July phone call between the Republican president and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

Biden is a leading Democratic contender for the right to face Trump in the November 2020 presidential election.

There is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.

Democrats have accused Trump of pressuring a vulnerable foreign ally to dig up dirt on a domestic political opponent for his own political benefit.

She also denied she had been "disloyal" to Mr. Trump.

President Trump, despite admitting that he wanted the Bidens investigated, has said he did nothing wrong. She left the post in May.

Yovanovitch's term as ambassador to Ukraine ended before that period.

Yovanovitch was removed from her post after insisting that Giuliani's requests to Ukrainian officials for investigations be relayed through official channels, according to a former diplomat who has spoken with her.

She was born in Montreal to Russian parents, her family moving to the US a few years later. She has dual U.S. -U.K. citizenship.

Yovanovitch is now being interviewed by House investigators behind closed doors as part of Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

"Notwithstanding the State Department's current direction to not testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the Committees' subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday", said a statement from attorneys Robert Luskin and Kwame Manley.

Yovanovitch on Friday testified privately before House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into Trump, despite previous efforts by the State Department to block officials from being deposed. In a September 9 exchange, Bill Taylor, a senior USA diplomat in Ukraine, told Sondland: "I think it's insane to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign".

House Democrats' impeachment inquiry moves ahead; chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reports from Capitol Hill.

His lawyers said that although Sondland will appear at the hearing, he will not be producing the "relevant documents" directed by the subpoena. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June and presented his credentials at the European Commission in July.

The House also subpoenaed records from the Defense Department and White House budget office that need to be turned over by October 15.

To make matters worse, all of this occurred during an especially challenging time in bilateral relations with a newly elected Ukrainian president. Federal prosecutors are also accusing the businessmen of bankrolling political candidates using foreign money in exchange for political influence, including in Nevada, where they hoped to set up recreational marijuana businesses. Shortly thereafter, Trump tweeted he could not allow Sondland to testify because the Democratic-led investigation was "compromised".

On Thursday, President Trump denied knowing Giuliani's arrested associates. When she returned to Washington, she said, she pressed the deputy secretary of state about why she was told to leave. His departure comes with Pompeo deeply enmeshed in the Ukraine controversy.