Longtime U.S. ambassador arrives to testify about Ukraine before House committees

Former ambassador to testify at inquiry into Trump

US envoy to testify in impeachment probe, against State Dept order

The State Department apparently did not demand that she not appear, as it did earlier this week with U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan arrives at the Lopez Palace, in Asuncion, Paraguay, on September 6, 2019.

He also claimed that an investigation needed to be conducted into former vice president Joe Biden's activities in Ukraine with respect to his son Hunter's position on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

In copies of the guidance shared with The Hill, The White House encouraged Republicans to adopt a series of messages created to turn the tables back on Democrats, including attacks on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's (D-Calif.) handling of the probe.

In her remarks, she said that the State Department had been attacked and hollowed out, and she predicted harm to the nation's interests.

As for Giuliani, she said she was in contact with him three times as she can recall, none related to the controversy at hand - and said that she did not know Giuliani's motives for going after her.

Congressional lawmakers were waiting to see if Yovanovich shows up after the White House said earlier this week it would refuse to cooperate with an impeachment inquiry that Trump has termed 'a kangaroo court'.

She then recalled a conversation with Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, who she says told her Trump had lost confidence in her after a "concerted campaign" and that he had been pressuring the department to remove her since the summer of 2018.

"And she anxious that the State Department had become 'hollowed out" during the Trump administration.

She said in the statement she was incredulous that the government had chosen to remove her "based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives".

In his call with Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelenskiy at the center of the impeachment inquiry, Trump called Yovanovitch "bad news".

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

Yovanovitch's ouster was mentioned as a point of concern in the whistleblower complaint.

She concluded by expressing "deep disappointment and dismay" she felt as the events in Ukraine unfolded, including her removal. He said he'd been directed by the state department to not speak to the committees.

"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", the statement said.

She also denied she had been "disloyal" to Mr. Trump. According to a cached biography on the State Department, earlier in her career she worked at the US embassies in Ottawa, London, Moscow and Mogadishu.

One of the foreign-born businessmen arrested on Thursday, Parnas, sought the help of a USA congressman - identified by a person familiar with the matter as Republican Pete Sessions - to get Trump to remove Yovanovitch, according to the indictment.

"Ambassador Sondland hopes the materials will be shared with the Committees in advance of his Thursday testimony", they said in a statement. 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".

According to an indictment that federal prosecutors in NY unsealed Thursday, a Soviet-born associate of Giuliani's met in the spring of 2018 with a US congressman, who public campaign records indicate is former was Texas Republican Rep. Pete Sessions, to seek "assistance in causing the USA government to remove or recall the then-U".

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