- The Washington Times - Friday, October 11, 2019

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch arrived to her scheduled disposition with lawmakers on Friday, despite the administration’s refusal to cooperate with the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

Ms. Yovanovitch is still works for the State Department, despite no longer serving in Ukraine, so her cooperation with the investigation was uncertain.

The former ambassador was described as “bad news” by President Trump in his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and reportedly targeted by a number of conspiracy theories sent to the State Department.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Ms. Yovanovitch was personally removed from her position by Mr. Trump this spring after she reportedly pushed back on the administration’s efforts to have Ukraine open an investigation into the Biden family.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, told reporters that Ms. Yovanovitch did not indicate that anyone tried to bar her from appearing on Friday.

However, the chairs of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees said the State Department, via orders from the White House, tried to stop Ms. Yovanovitch from appearing before the committee.

“This is the latest example of the Administration’s efforts to conceal the facts from the American people and obstruct our lawful and constitutionally-authorized impeachment inquiry,” they wrote.

The Washington, D.C., congresswoman praised Ms. Yovanovitch’s performance so far as one of the most “apolitical” testimonies she’s heard.

Mr. Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani, who also criticized Ms. Yovanovitch and is a central figure in the administration’s efforts in Ukraine, was discussed in the closed-door meeting.

“They are just getting into Giuliani,” Ms. Norton said. “That is becoming very very deep.”

Ms. Yovanovitch’s ouster was one of the key red flags for the whistleblower, whose complaint detailing concerns about Mr. Trump using his position and military aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating a political rival sparked the latest investigation.

Earlier this week, the White House sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warning her that they wouldn’t cooperate with the impeachment probe until she held a full House vote to authorize and establish equal powers for both parties.

On Tuesday, the administration blocked Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, and another key figure in the Ukraine incident from meeting with lawmakers.

His counsel announced Friday morning that Mr. Sondland would be testifying before lawmakers, “notwithstanding the State Department’s current direction to not testify.”

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