- The Washington Times - Friday, October 11, 2019

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will tell lawmakers she was abruptly removed from her post after being told “the president had lost confidence in me.”

According to her prepared opening statement, first obtained by The Washington Post, Ms. Yovanovitch explained she was told by the Deputy Secretary of State that the president had been pressuring the department since the summer of 2018 for her ouster.

“He added that there had been a concerted campaign against me,” she said. “Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the president, I was nevertheless incredulous that the U.S. government chose to remove an Ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”

Ms. Yovanovitch rejected a number of allegations against her — that she was disparaging the president abroad and was asked by the Obama administration to help the Clinton campaign ahead of the 2016 elections. She also said she never met Hunter Biden, or had anything to do with the Burisma controversy.

“Although I have met Vice President Biden several times over the course of our many years in government, neither he nor the previous administration ever, directly or indirectly, raised the issue of either Burisma or Hunter Biden with me.”

The former ambassador was described as “bad news” by President Trump in his phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, disparaged by the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, and reportedly targeted by a number of conspiracy theories sent to the State Department.

Ms. Yovanovitch said she only met Mr. Giuliani on a handful of occasions, none of which involved the Ukrainian allegations, but said some of his associates’ “financial ambitions” were foiled by anti-corruption policies in Ukraine.

The former ambassador’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.

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