It’s been 52 days since the Impeachment Inquiry began. On Wednesday the House Intelligence Committee held the first public hearing regarding the Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald Trump.
On Friday former U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch is scheduled to offer public testimony related to both the official US/Ukraine diplomatic relationship as well as the irregular channel that was forged by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Yovanovitch appeared behind closed-doors to offer her testimony to the three House Committees handling the Impeachment Inquiry on October 11th. The Committees made her testimony public on November 4th.
In her opening statement Yovanovitch explains the situation in Ukraine and explains that Ukraine since 2014 is not simply fighting a war with Russia, but is also fighting a war inside itself:
as political and economic forces compete to determine what kind of country Ukraine will become: the same old, oligarch-dominated UkraineYovanvitch Opening Statement.
where corruption is not just prevalent, but is the system? Or the country that Ukrainians demanded in the Revolution of Dignity—a country where rule of law is the system, corruption is tamed, and people are treated equally and according to the law?
She goes on to address recent media reports that say she attempted to sway Ukraine from investigating or prosecuting certain individuals by giving the Ukraine Prosecutor General at the time Yuriy Lutsenko a “do not prosecute list.”
I want to categorically state that I have never myself or through others, directly or indirectly, ever directed, suggested, or in any other way asked for any government or government official in Ukraine (or elsewhere) to refrain from investigating or prosecuting actual corruptionYovanvitch Opening Statement.
She concludes her statement:
I am proud of my work in Ukraine. The U.S. Embassy, under my leadership, represented and advanced the policies of the United States government as articulated, first by the Obama Administration and then by the Trump Administration. Our efforts were intended, and evidently succeeded, in thwarting corrupt interests in Ukraine, who fought back by selling baseless conspiracy theories to anyone who would listen. Sadly, someone was listening, and our nation is the worse off for that.Yovanvitch Opening Statement.
Ahead of the second Impeachment Inquiry public hearing President Trump demanded an apology from the Democrats following comments made by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko.
Democrats must apologize to USA: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that “United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did NOT link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former V.P. Joe Biden & his son, Hunter Biden…..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019
He went on to exclaim that the “FAKE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY IS NOW DEAD!”
….Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.” THE FAKE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY IS NOW DEAD!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019
According to a Russian owned media outlet Interfax-Ukraine, Prystaiko told reporters in Kyiv on Thursday that the U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, did not tell Ukraine or Prystaiko that military aide was condition on investigations.
Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and did not tell me exactly, about the relation between the [military] assistance and the investigations. You should ask him. I do not recall any conversation with me as with foreign minister. It was not we, the Ukrainian officials (who were told this).
I have never seen a direct link between investigations and security assistance. Yes, investigations were mentioned, you know, in a presidential conversation. But there was no clear connection between these events.Interfax-Unkraine.
According to the article Prystaiko said he had no contact with Sondland as an official.
Live Feed PBS News Hour.
Live Feed Washington Post.
Live Feed House Intelligence Committee.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies on Impeach Inquiry before House Intelligence Cmte – LIVE at 9am ET on C-SPAN2, @cspanRadio & online here: https://t.co/hfUPMqA2R9 pic.twitter.com/O8H9GpT0Sj— CSPAN (@cspan) November 15, 2019
To review the opening statements from Wednesday’s hearing featuring testimony from Ambassador William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent @ Just Security.
Upcoming public hearings.
Impeachment inquiry hearings next week:— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 13, 2019
Tuesday morning: Jennifer Williams and Alexander Vindman
Tuesday afternoon: Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison
Wednesday morning: Gordon Sondland
Wednesday afternoon: Laura Cooper and David Hale
Thursday: Fiona Hill
More details to come.