Impeachment Hearing Live(ish) Transcripts

Transcript: Impeachment Hearing, Day 1: Marie 'Masha' Yovanovitch

EVENT: Washington, DC
DATE: November 15, 2019 @ 09:00 am ET
Text-Only View
Adam B. Schiff
Committee will come to order. Good morning, everyone. This is the second in a series of public hearings the committee will be holding as part of the House's impeachment inquiry. Without objection, the chair is authorized to declare recess of the committee at any time. There is a quorum present. We will proceed today in the same fashion as our first hearing.
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I'll make an opening statement, and then Ranking Member Nunes will have the opportunity to make a statement. Then we will turn to our witness for an opening statement and then to questions. For audience members, we welcome you and respect your interest in being here. In turn, we ask for your respect as we proceed with today's hearing.
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It is the intention of the committee to proceed without disruptions. As chairman, I will take all necessary and appropriate steps to maintain order and to ensure that the committee is run in accordance with House rules and House Resolution 660. With that, I now recognize myself to give an opening statement in the impeachment inquiry into Donald J Trump, 45th president of the United States.
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In April 2019 the United States ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was in Kiev when she was called by a senior State Department official and told to get on the next plane back to Washington. Upon her return to DC, she was informed by her superiors that although she had done nothing wrong, she could no longer serve as ambassador to Ukraine because she did not have the confidence of the president.
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It was a stunning turn of events for this highly-regarded career diplomat who had done such a remarkable job fighting corruption in Ukraine that a short time earlier she had been asked by the State Department to extend her tour. Ambassador Yovanovitch has been in the Foreign Service for 33 years and served much of that time in the former Soviet Union.
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Her parents had fled Stalin and later Hitler before settling in the United States. She is an exemplary officer who is widely praised and respected by her colleagues. She is known as an anticorruption champion whose tour in Kiev was viewed as very successful. Ambassador Michael McKinley who had served with her in the Foreign Service for several decades stated that from the earliest days of her career in the Foreign Service she was excellent, serious, committed.
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I certainly remember her being one of those people who seemed to be destined for greater things. Her successor is acting chief of mission in Ukraine, Ambassador Bill Taylor, described her as very frank. She was very direct. She made points very clearly, and she was, indeed, tough on corruption. And she named names, and that sometimes is controversial out there, but she's a strong person and made those charges.
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In her time in Kiev, Ambassador Yovanovitch was tough on corruption, too tough on corruption for some, and her principled stance made her enemies. As George Kent told this committee on Wednesday, you can't promote principled anticorruption action without pissing off corrupt people. And Ambassador Yovanovitch did not just piss off corrupt Ukrainians like the corrupt former prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, but also certain Americans, like Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump's personal attorney, and two individuals now indicted who worked with him, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas.
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Lutsenko, Giuliani, Fruman, Parnas and others who had come to include the president's own son, Don, Jr., promoted a smear campaign against her based on false allegations. At the State Department there was an effort to push back, to obtain a statement of support from Secretary Pompeo, but those efforts failed when it became clear that President Trump wanted her gone.
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Some have argued that a president has the ability to nominate or remove any ambassador he wants, that they serve at the pleasure of the president, and that is true. The question before us is not whether Donald Trump could recall an American ambassador with a stellar reputation for fighting corruption in Ukraine, but why would he want to? Why did Rudy Giuliani want her gone, and why did Donald Trump?
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And why would Donald Trump instruct the new team he put in place, the three amigos, Gordon Sondland, Rick Perry and Kurt Volker, to work with the same man, Rudy Giuliani, who played such a central role in the smear campaign against her? Rudy Giuliani has made no secret of his desire to get Ukraine to open investigations into the Bidens, as well as a conspiracy theory of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.
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As he said in one interview in May 2019, we're not meddling in an election. We're meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do. More recently, he told CNN's Chris Cuomo, of course I did, when asked if he had pressed Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. And he has never been shy about who he is doing this work for, his client, the president.
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One powerful ally Giuliani had in Ukraine to promote these political investigations was Lutsenko, the corrupt former prosecutor general. And one powerful adversary Lutsenko had was a certain United States ambassador named Marie Yovanovitch. It is no coincidence that in the now infamous July 25 call with Zelensky, Donald Trump brings up a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor and praises him.
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Against all evidence, Trump claims that this former prosecutor general was very good, and he was shut down, and that's really unfair. But the woman known for fighting corruption, his own former ambassador, the woman ruthlessly smeared and driven from her post, the president does nothing but disparage, or worse, threaten.
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Well, she's going to go through some things, the president declares. That tells you a lot about the president's priorities and intentions. Getting rid of Ambassador Yovanovitch helped to set the stage for an irregular channel that could pursue the two investigations that mattered so much to the president, the 2016 conspiracy theory, and most important, an investigation into the 2020 political opponent he apparently feared most, Joe Biden.
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And the president's scheme might have worked but for the fact that the man who would succeed Ambassador Yovanovitch, whom we heard from on Wednesday, Acting Ambassador Taylor, would eventually discover the effort to press Ukraine into conducting these investigations and would push back, but for the fact also that someone blew the whistle.
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Ambassador Yovanovitch was serving our nation's interest in fighting corruption in Ukraine, but she was considered an obstacle to the furtherance of the president's personal and political agenda. For that, she was smeared and cast aside. The powers of the presidency are immense, but they are not absolute.
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And they cannot be used for corrupt purpose. The American people expect their president to use the authority they grant him in the service of the nation, not to destroy others to advance his personal or political interests. I now recognize Ranking Member Nunes for his remarks.
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Devin Nunes
I think the gentleman. It is unfortunate that today and for most of next week we will continue engaging in the Democrats daylong TV spectacles instead of solving the problems we were all sent to Washington to address. We now have a major trade agreement with Canada and Mexico ready for approval, a deal that would create jobs and boost our economy.
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Meanwhile we have not yet approved funding for the government which expires next week along with funding for our men and women in uniform. Instead the Democrats have convened us once again to advance their operation to topple a duly elected President. I will note that five, five, Democrats on this committee have already voted to impeach this President before the Trump Zelensky phone call occurred.
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In fact Democrats have been vowing to oust President Trump since the day he was elected. So Americans can rightly suspect that his phone call with President Zelensky was used as an excuse for the Democrats to fulfill their Watergate fantasies. But I'm glad that on Wednesday after the Democrats staged six weeks of secret depositions in the basement of the capital like some kind of strange cult the American people finally got to see this farce for themselves.
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They saw us sit through hours of hearsay testimony about conversations that two diplomats who had never spoken to The president heard secondhand, thirdhand and forth hand from other people. In other words rumors. The problem of trying to overthrow a President based on this type of evidence is obvious but that is what their home case relies on beginning with secondhand and third hand information cited by the whistleblower.
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That is why on Wednesday the Democrats were forced to make the absurd argument that hearsay can be much better evidence than direct evidence. And just when you thought the spectacle couldn't get more bizarre committee Republicans received a memo from the Democrats threatening ethics referral if we out the whistleblower.
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As the Democrats are well aware no Republicans here know the whistleblower's identity because the whistleblower only met with Democrats, not with Republicans. The chairmanship claimed not to know who it is yet he also vowed to block us from asking questions that could reveal his or her identity. Republicans on this committee are left wondering how it is even possible for the Chairman to block questions about a person whose identity he claims not to know.
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The American people may be seeing these absurdities for the first time that Republicans on this dais are used to them. Until they secretly met with a whistleblower Democrats showed little interest for the last three years in any topic aside from the ridiculous conspiracy theories that President Trump is a Russian agent.
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When you find yourself on the phone like the Democrats did with the Russian pranksters offering youth nude pictures of Trump and afterward you order your staff to follow up and get the photos as the Democrats also did, then it might be time to ask yourself if you have gone out too far on a limb. Even as they were accusing Republicans of colluding with Russians the Democrats themselves were colluding with the Russians by funding the Steele dossier which was based on Russian and Ukrainian sources.
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Meanwhile they turn a blind eye to Ukrainians meddling in our elections because the Democrats were cooperating with that operation. This was the subject of a July 20, 2017, letter sent by Senator Grassley to then Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The letter raised concerns about the activities of Alexandra Chalupa, a contractor for the Democratic National Committee who worked with Ukrainian Embassy officials to spread dirt on the Trump campaign.
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As Senator Grassley wrote Chalupa's act -- Chalupa's actions appear to show that she was simultaneously working on behalf of a foreign government, Ukraine, and on behalf of the DNC and the Clinton campaign in an effort to influence not only the U.S. voting population but U.S. government officials". After touting the Steele dossier and defending the FBI's Russia investigation which are now being investigated by Inspector General Horowitz and Attorney General Barr Democrats on this committee ignore Ukrainian election meddling even though Chalupa publicly admitted to the Democrats scheme.
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Likewise they are blind to the blaring signs of corruption surrounding Hunter Biden's well-paid position on the board of a corrupt Ukrainian company while his father served as vice president and point man for Ukraine issues in the Obama administration. But the Democrats media hacks only cared about that issue briefly when they were trying to stop Joe Biden from running against Hillary Clinton in 2015. As I previously stated these earrings should not be occurring at all until we get the answers to three crucial questions the Democrats refused to ask.
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First, what is the full extent of the Democrats prior coordination with the whistleblower and who else did the whistleblower coordinate this effort with? Second, what is the full extent of Ukraine's election meddling against the Trump campaign? And third, why did Burisma hire Hunter Biden, what did he do for them and did his position affect any government actions under the Obama administration?
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I will know that house Democrats found they would not put the American people through a wrenching impeachment process without bipartisan support and they have none. Add that to their ever-growing list of broken promises and destructive deceptions. In closing Mr. Chair The president of the United States released his transcript right before the hearing began.
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I think it is important that I read this into the record so that there is no confusion over this first phone call that occurred on April 21, with President-elect Zelensky and I would like to read it. The president, I would like to congratulate you on a job well done and congratulations on a fantastic election.
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Zelensky, good to hear from you. Thank you so very much. It is nice to hear from you and I appreciate the congratulations. The president, that was an incredible election. Zelensky, again thank you so very much. As you can see we tried very hard to do our best. We have you as a great example. The president, I think you will do a great job.
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I have many friends in Ukraine who know you and like you. I have many friends from Ukraine and frankly expected you to win and it is really an amazing thing that you have done. I guess in a way I did something similar. We are making tremendous progress in the U.S. We have the most tremendous economy ever.
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I just wanted to congratulate you ever. I have no doubt you will be a fantastic President. Zelensky, first of all, thank you so very much again for the congratulations. We in the Ukraine are an independent country, an independent Ukraine. We are going to do everything for the people. You are as I said a great example.
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We are hoping we can expand on our jobs as you did. You will also be a great example for many. You are a great example for our new managers. I would also like to invite you if possible to the inauguration. I know how busy you are but if it is possible for you to come to the inauguration ceremony that would be great.
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Great for you to do to be with us on that day. The president, that is very nice. I will look into that and give us a date. At the very minimum we will have a great representative or more from the United States will be with you on that great day. So we will have somebody at a minimum a very, very high level and will be with you.
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Really an incredible day for an incredible achievement. Zelensky, again, thank you. We are looking forward to your visit to the visit of a high-level delegation but there is no words that can describe our wonderful country, how nice, warm and friendly our people are, how tasty and delicious our food is and how wonderful Ukraine is. Words cannot describe our country so it would be best for you to see or so. So if you can come that would be great.
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So again I invite you to come. The president, well, I agree with you about your country and I look forward to it. When I owned Miss universe they always had great people. Ukraine always very well represented. It was always very well represented. When you are settled in and ready I would like to invite you to the White House.
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We will have a lot of things to talk about but we are with you all of the way. Zelensky, thank you for the invitation. We accept the invitation and look forward to the visit. Thank you again. The whole team and I are looking forward to the visit. Thank you for the congratulations and I think it will still be great if you can come and be with us on this -- be with us on this important day.
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The results are incredible. They are very impressive for us so it will be absolutely fantastic if you could come on that day. The president, very good. We will let you know very soon and we will see you very, very soon regardless. Congratulations and please say hello to the Ukrainian people and your family.
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Let them know I send my best regards. Well, thank you -- Zelensky, well, thank you. You have a safe flight and see you soon. President, take care of yourself and give a great speech today. You take care of cells and I will see you soon. Zelensky, thank you very much. It is difficult for me but I will practice English and I will meet in English.
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Thank you very much. The president laughing, that is beautiful to hear. That is really good. I could not do it in your language. I am very impressed. Thank you so much. Zelensky, thank you so much. The president, good day, good luck. I am glad I was able to read that into the record so the -- now the American people know the very first call that President Trump had with President Zelensky and with that I yield back the balance of my time.
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Elise M. Stefanik
Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry. --
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentlewoman is not recognized. I do want to comment and I allowed --
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Elise M. Stefanik
Mr. Chairman, I have a point of order under H-Res 660.
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentlewoman will state her point of order.
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Elise M. Stefanik
The point of order is will the chairman continue to prohibit witnesses from answering Republican questions as you've done in closed hearings and as you did this week --
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentlewoman will suspend. That is not a proper --
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Elise M. Stefanik
When you interrupted our questions --
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Adam B. Schiff
That is not a proper -- that is not a proper point of order. The gentleman will suspend. I do --
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K. Michael Conaway
Mr. Speaker -- Mr. Chairman, I have a --
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman is not recognized.
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Jim Jordan
Mr. Chairman, I have a point of order.
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Adam B. Schiff
The chairman gentleman is not recognized.
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Jim Jordan
I had a point of order though.
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman is not recognized. I do want to respond. I allowed that ranking member to --
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Jim Jordan
I have a point of order --
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman is not recognized. I allowed --
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Jim Jordan
Mr. Chairman, there are four transcripts --
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman --
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Jim Jordan
That have not been released --
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman is not recognized.
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Jim Jordan
Holy cow.
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Adam B. Schiff
The ranking member was allowed to exceed the opening statement and I was happy to allow him to do so. I do want to respond to the call record. First of all, I'm grateful the president has released the call record. I would now ask the president to release the thousands of other records that he has instructed the State Department not to release, including Ambassador Taylor's notes, including Ambassador Taylors cable, including George Kent's memo, including documents from the office of management and budget about why the military aide was withheld, including --
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Jim Jordan
Mr. Chairman, I want you to release the four transcripts --
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman is not recognized --
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Jim Jordan
-- of the depositions --
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman will suspend --
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Jim Jordan
That's my point of order --
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman will suspend.
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Jim Jordan
Geez.
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Adam B. Schiff
We would ask the president to stop obstructing the impeachment inquiry. And while we are grateful he has released a single document, he has nonetheless obstructed witnesses and their testimony and the production of thousands and thousands of other records. And finally, I would say this, Mr. President, I hope you will explain to the country today why it was after this call and while the Vice President was making plans to attend the inauguration you instructed the Vice President not to attend Zelensky's inauguration.
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Elise M. Stefanik
Mr. Chairman, I have a point of order --
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Adam B. Schiff
Today -- today --
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Elise M. Stefanik
Mr. Chairman, I have a point of order --
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentlewoman is not recognized.
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Elise M. Stefanik
So we know clearly you're going to interrupt us throughout this hearing --
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentlewoman is not recognized.
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K. Michael Conaway
Mr. Chairman, I have a unanimous dissent request.
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Adam B. Schiff
Today -- no.
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K. Michael Conaway
Mr. Chairman, I have a unanimous dissent request
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Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman is not -- not recognized. Today we are joined by a master Marie Yovanovitch. She was born in Canada to parents who fled the Soviet Union and the Nazis. Ambassador Yovanovitch immigrated to Connecticut at three, became a naturalized American at 18, and entered the U.S. foreign service in 1986. She has served as U.S. ambassador three times and been nominated by presidents of both parties.
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George W. Bush nominated her to be ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic where she served from 2005 to 2008. President Obama then netted her nominated her to be U.S. ambassador to Armenia where she served from 2008 until 2011 and U.S. ambassador to Ukraine where she served from 2016 until she was recalled to Washington by President Trump this May.
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Beyond these ambassadorial posts, she has held numerous other senior positions at the State Department including in the Bureau of European and Eurasian affairs. She served as a dean at the foreign service Institute and taught national security strategy at the Defense University. She also previously served at U.S. embassies in Kiev, Ottawa, Moscow, London, and Mogadishu.
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Ambassador Yovanovitch has received multiple honors from the department or her diplomatic work, including the presidential distinguished service award and that secretaries diplomacy and human rights award. Two final ports points before our witness is sworn. First, witness deposition as part of this inquiry were unclassified in nature and all open hearings will also be held at the unclassified level.
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Any information that may touch on classified information will be addressed separately. Second, Congress will not tolerate any reprisal, threat of reprisal, threat of reprisal, or attempt to retaliate against any U.S. government official for testifying before Congress including you or any of your colleagues.
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If you would please rise and raise your right hand, I will begin by swearing you in. Do you swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
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Marie Yovanovitch
[Inaudible]
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Adam B. Schiff
Let the record show that the witness has answered in the affirmative. Thank you and please be seated. Without objection, your written statement will be made part of the record. With that, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, you are ignite for your opening statement.
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Marie Yovanovitch
Mr. Chairman, ranking member Nunes, and other members of the committee --
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Adam B. Schiff
And ambassador, you'll need to speak very close to the microphone.
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Marie Yovanovitch
Thank you for the opportunity to start with this statement. To reintroduce myself to the committee and to highlight parts of my biography and experience, I come before you as an American citizen who has devoted the majority of my life, 33 years, to service to the country that all of us love -- love. Like my colleagues, I entered the foreign service understanding that my job was to implement the foreign policy interests of this nation as defined by the president and Congress and to do so regardless of which person or party wasn't in power.
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I had no agenda other than to pursue our stated foreign policy goals my service is an expression of gratitude for all that this country has given to me and to my family. My late parents did not have the good fortune to come of age and every society. My father fled the Soviets before ultimately finding refuge in the United States.
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My mother's family escaped the USSR after the Bolshevik revolution and she grew up stateless in Nazi Germany before also eventually making her way to the United States. Their personal histories, my personal history gave me both deep gratitude towards the United States and great empathy for others like the Ukrainian people who want to be free.
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I joined the foreign service during the Reagan administration and subsequently served three other Republican presidents as well as two Democratic presidents. It was my great honor to be appointed to serve as an ambassador three times, twice by George W. Bush, and once by Barack Obama. There is a perception that diplomats lead a comfortable life throwing dinner parties in fancy homes.
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Let me tell you about some of my reality. It has not always been easy. I have moved 13 times and served in seven different countries, five of them hardship posts. My first tour was Mogadishu, Somalia, an increasingly dangerous place as that country's civil war grinding kept grinding on and the government was weakening.
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The military took over policing functions in a particularly brutal way and basic services -- services disappeared. Several years later after the Soviet Union collapsed, I helped open our embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. As we were establishing relations with a new country, our small embassy was attacked by a gunman who sprayed the embassy building with gunfire.
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I later served in Moscow. In 1993 during the attempted coup in Moscow in Russia, I was caught in crossfire between presidential and parliamentary forces. It took us three tries, me without a helmet or body armor to get into a vehicle to go to the embassy. We went because the ambassador asked us to come and we went because it was our duty.
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From August 2016 until May 2019, I served as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. During my tenure in Ukraine, I went to the front line approximately 10 times during a hot war to show the American flag, to hear what was going on, sometimes literally as we heard the impact of artillery, and to see how our assistance dollars were being put to use.
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I worked to advance U.S. policy, fully embraced by Democrats and Republicans alike to help Ukraine become a stable and independent democratic state with a market economy integrated into Europe. A secure democratic and free Ukraine serves not just the Ukrainian people, but the American people as well. That's why it was our policy, continues to be our policy, to help the Ukrainians achieve their objectives.
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They match our objectives. The U.S. is the most powerful country in the history of the world in large part because of our values and our values have made possible the network of alliances and partnerships that buttresses our own strength. Ukraine with an enormous landmass and a large population has the potential to be a significant commercial and clinical partner for the United States as well as a force multiplier on the security side.
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We see the potential in Ukraine. Russia sees, by contrast, sees the risk. The history is not written yet, but Ukraine could move at out of Russia's orbit. And now, Ukraine is a battleground for great power competition with a hot war for the control of territory and a hybrid war to control Ukraine's leadership.
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--
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The U.S. has provided significant security assistance since the onset of the war against Russia in 2014, and the Trump administration strengthened our policy by approving the provision to Ukraine of antitank missiles, known as Javelins. Supporting Ukraine is the right thing to do. It's also the smart thing to do. If Russia prevails and Ukraine falls to Russian dominion, we can expect to see other attempts by Russia to expand its territory and its influence.
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As critical as the war against Russia is, Ukraine's a struggling democracy has an equally important challenge, battling the Soviet legacy of corruption which has pervaded Ukraine's government. Corruption makes Ukraine's leaders ever-vulnerable to Russia, and the Ukrainian people understand that. That's why they launched the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, demanding to be a part of Europe, demanding the transformation of the system, demanding to live under the rule of law.
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Ukrainians wanted the law to apply equally to all people, whether the individual in question is the president or any other citizen. It was a question of fairness, of dignity. Here again, there is a coincidence of interest. Corrupt leaders are inherently less trustworthy, while an honest and accountable Ukrainian leadership makes a U.S.-Ukrainian partnership more reliable and more valuable to the United States.
[00:31:07.080 - 00:31:33.320]

A level playing field, in this strategically located country bordering for NATO allies, creates an environment in which U.S. business can more easily trade, invest, and profit. Corruption is also security issue, because corrupt officials are vulnerable to Moscow. In short, it is in America's national security interest to help Ukraine transform into a country where the rule of law governs and corruption is held in check.
[00:31:33.320 - 00:32:03.480]

It was and remains a top U.S. priority to help Ukraine fight corruption, and significant progress has been made since the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. Unfortunately, as the past couple of months have underlined, not all Ukrainians embraced our anticorruption work. Thus, perhaps it was not surprising that when our anticorruption efforts got in the way of a desire for profit or power, Ukrainians who preferred to play by the old corrupt rules sought to remove me. What continues to amaze me is that they found Americans willing to partner with them and, working together, they apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of the U.S. ambassador.
[00:32:03.480 - 00:32:47.840]

How could our system feel like this? How is it that foreign corrupt interests could manipulate our government? Which country's interests are served when the very corrupt behavior we have been criticizing is allowed to prevail? Such conduct undermines the U.S., exposes our friends, and widens the playing field for autocrats like President Putin.
[00:32:47.840 - 00:33:14.560]

Our leadership depends on the power of our example and the consistency of our purpose. Both have now been opened to question. With that background in mind, I'd like to briefly address some of the factual issues I expect you -- you may want to ask me about, starting with my timeline in Ukraine and the events about which I do and do not have firsthand knowledge.
[00:33:14.560 - 00:33:43.000]

I arrived in Ukraine on August 22nd, 2016 and left Ukraine permanently on May 20th, 2019. There are a number of events you are investigating to which I cannot bring any firsthand knowledge; the events that predated my Ukraine service include the release of the so-called black ledger and Mr. Manafort's subsequent resignation from President Trump's campaign, and the departure from office of former prosecutor general Viktor Shokin.
[00:33:43.000 - 00:34:13.560]

Several other events occurred after I returned from Ukraine. These include President Trump's July 25th, 2019 call with President Zelensky, the discussions surrounding that phone call, and any discussions surrounding the delay of security assistance to Ukraine in the summer of 2019. As for events during my tenure in Ukraine, I want to reiterate first that the allegation that I disseminated a do not prosecute list was a fabrication.
[00:34:13.560 - 00:34:47.360]

Mr. Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general who made that allegation, has acknowledged that the list never existed. I did not tell Mr. Lutsenko or other Ukrainian officials were they should or should not prosecute. Instead, I advocated the U.S. position that rule of law should prevail, and Ukrainian law enforcement prosecutors and judges should stop wielding their power selectively as a political weapon against their adversaries and start dealing with all consistently and according to law.
[00:34:47.360 - 00:35:22.600]

Also untrue are unsourced allegations that I told unidentified embassy employees or Ukrainian officials that President's Trump's orders should be ignored because he was going to be impeached or for any other reason. I did not and I would not say such a thing. Such statements would be inconsistent with my training as a foreign service officer and my role as an ambassador.
[00:35:22.600 - 00:35:47.560]

The Obama administration did not ask me to help the Clinton campaign or harm the Trump campaign, nor what I have taken any such steps if they had. Partisanship of this type is not compatible with the role of a career foreign service officer. I have never met Hunter Biden, nor have I had any direct or indirect conversations with him.
[00:35:47.560 - 00:36:16.120]

And although I have met former Vice President Biden several times over the course of our many years in government service, neither he nor the previous administration ever raised the issue of either Burisma or Hunter Biden with me. With respect to Mayor Giuliani, I have had only minimal contact with him, a total of three, none related to the events at issue.
[00:36:16.120 - 00:36:38.880]

I do not understand Mr. Giuliani's motives for attacking me, nor can I offer an opinion on whether you believe the allegations he spread about me. Clearly, no one at the State Department did. What I can say is that Mr. Giuliani should have known those claims were suspect, coming as they reportedly did from individuals with questionable motives and with reason to believe that their political and financial ambitions would be stymied by our anticorruption policy in Ukraine.
[00:36:38.880 - 00:37:13.040]

After being asked by the undersecretary of state for political affairs in early March 2019 to extend my tour until 2020, the smear campaign against me entered a new public praise in the United States. In the wake of the negative press, State Department officials suggested an earlier departure, and we agreed upon July 2019. I was then abruptly told, just weeks later in late April, to come back to Washington from Ukraine on the next plane.
[00:37:13.040 - 00:37:43.200]

At the time I departed, Ukraine had just concluded game changing presidential elections. It was a sensitive period, with much at stake for the United States and called for all the experience and expertise we could muster. When I returned to the United States, Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan told me there had been a concerted campaign against me, that the president no longer wished me to serve as ambassador to Ukraine, and that in fact the president had been pushing for my removal since the prior summer.
[00:37:43.200 - 00:38:16.280]

As Mr. Sullivan recently recounted during his Senate confirmation hearing, neither he nor anyone else ever explained or sought to justify the president's concerns about me, nor did anyone in the department justify my early departure by suggesting I had done something wrong. I appreciate that Mr. Sullivan publicly affirmed at his hearing that I had served capably and admirably.
[00:38:16.280 - 00:38:41.080]

Although then and now I have always understood that I served at the pleasure of the president, I still find it difficult to comprehend that foreign and private interests were able to undermine U.S. interests in this way. Individuals who apparently felt stymied by our -- our efforts to promote stated U.S. policy against corruption, that is to do our mission, were able to successfully conduct a campaign of disinformation against a sitting ambassador using unofficial back channels.
[00:38:41.080 - 00:39:15.440]

As various witnesses have recounted, they shared baseless allegations with the president and convinced him to remove his ambassador, despite the fact that the State Department fully understood that the allegations were false and the sources highly suspect. These events should concern everyone in this room.
[00:39:15.440 - 00:39:33.360]

Ambassadors are the symbol of the United States abroad. They are the personal representative of the president. They should always act and speak with full authority to advocate for U.S. policies. If our chief representative is kneecapped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the United States.
[00:39:33.360 - 00:39:56.080]

This is especially important now when the international landscape is more complicated and more competitive than it has been since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Our Ukraine policy has been thrown into disarray, and shady interests the word -- the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an American ambassador who does not give them what they want.
[00:39:56.080 - 00:40:20.040]

--
[00:40:20.040 - 00:40:20.840]

After these events, what foreign official, corrupt or not, could be blamed for wondering whether the U.S. ambassador represents the president's views? And what U.S. ambassador could be blamed for harboring the fear they can't count on our government to support them as they implement stated U.S. policy and protect and defend U.S. interests?
[00:40:20.840 - 00:40:47.040]

I'd like to comment on one other matter before taking your questions. At the closed deposition, I expressed grave concerns about the degradation of the Foreign Service over the past few years and the failure of State Department leadership to push back as foreign and corrupt interests apparently hijacked our Ukraine policy.
[00:40:47.040 - 00:41:06.880]

I remain disappointed that the Department's leadership and others have declined to acknowledge that the attacks against me and others are dangerously wrong. This is about far, far more than me or a couple of individuals. As Foreign Service professionals are being denigrated and undermined, the institution is also being degraded.
[00:41:06.880 - 00:41:28.600]

This will soon cause real harm if it hasn't already. The State Department as a tool of foreign-policy often doesn't get the same kind of attention or even respect as the military might of the Pentagon, but we are, as they say, the pointy end of the spear. If we lose our edge, the U.S. will inevitably have to use other tools even more than it does today, and those other tools are blunter, more expensive and not universally effective.
[00:41:28.600 - 00:42:00.560]

Moreover, attacks are leading to a crisis in the State Department as the policy process is visibly unraveling. Leadership vacancies go unfilled, and senior and mid-level officers ponder an uncertain future. The crisis has moved from the impact on individuals to an impact on the institution itself. The State Department is being hollowed out from within at a competitive and complex time on the world stage.
[00:42:00.560 - 00:42:28.120]

This is not a time to undercut our diplomats. It is the responsibility of the Department's leaders to stand up for the institution and the individuals who make that institution still today the most effective diplomatic force in the world. And Congress has a responsibility to reinvest in our diplomacy. That's an investment in our national security.
[00:42:28.120 - 00:42:52.960]

It's an investment in our future and our children's future. As I close, let me be clear on who we are and how we serve this country. We are professionals. We are public servants who by vocation and training pursue the policies of the president, regardless of who holds that office or what party they affiliate with.
[00:42:52.960 - 00:43:16.520]

We handle American citizen services, facilitate trade and commerce, work security issues, represent the U.S. and report to and advise Washington, to mention just some of our functions, and we make a difference every day. We are people who repeatedly uproot our lives, who risk and sometimes give our lives for this country.
[00:43:16.520 - 00:43:41.280]

We are the 52 Americans who 40 years ago this month began 444 days of deprivation, torture and captivity in Tehran. We are the dozens of Americans stationed at our Embassy in Cuba, and consulates in China, who mysteriously and dangerously, and in some cases perhaps even permanently, were injured and attacked from unknown sources several years ago.
[00:43:41.280 - 00:44:09.080]

And we are Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Patrick Smith, Ty Woods and Glen Doherty, people rightly called heroes for their ultimate sacrifice to this nation's foreign policy interests in Libya eight years ago. We honor these individuals. They represent each one of you here and every American. These courageous individuals were attacked because they symbolized America.
[00:44:09.080 - 00:44:37.800]

What you need to know, what Americans need to know, is that while thankfully most of us answer the call to duty in far less dramatic ways, every foreign service officer runs the same risks, and very often so do our families. They serve, too. As individuals, as a community, we answer the call to duty to advance and protect the interests of the United States.
[00:44:37.800 - 00:45:04.200]

We take our oath seriously, the same oath that each one of you take, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. I count myself lucky to be a Foreign Service Officer, fortunate to serve with the best America has to offer, blessed to serve the American people for the last 33 years.
[00:45:04.200 - 00:45:32.560]

I thank you for your attention. I welcome your questions.
[00:45:32.560 - 00:45:36.040]
Adam B. Schiff
Thank you, Ambassador. We count ourselves lucky to have you serve the country as you have for decades. We will now move to the 45-minute rounds. I recognize myself and majority counsel for 45 minutes. Ambassador Yovanovitch, thank you again for appearing today. All Americans are deeply in your debt. And before I hand it over to Mr. Goldman, our staff counsel, I want to ask you about a few of the pivotal events of interest to the country.
[00:45:36.040 - 00:46:02.840]

First of all, was fighting corruption in Ukraine a key element of U.S. policy and one in which you placed the highest priority?
[00:46:02.840 - 00:46:12.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, it was.
[00:46:12.680 - 00:46:16.200]
Adam B. Schiff
And can you explain why?
[00:46:16.200 - 00:46:17.640]
Marie Yovanovitch
It was important, and it was actually stated in -- in -- in our -- in our policy and in our strategy. It was important because corruption was undermining the integrity of the governance -- governance system in Ukraine. And as I noted in my statement, countries that have leaders that are honest and trustworthy make better partners for us. Countries where there is a level playing field for our U.S. business makes it easier for our companies to do business there, to trade and to profit in those countries.
[00:46:17.640 - 00:47:01.160]

And what had been happening since the Soviet Union -- and this is very much a Soviet legacy -- is that corrupt interests were undermining not only the governance, but also the economy of Ukraine. We see enormous potential in Ukraine and would like to have a more capable, more trustworthy partner there.
[00:47:01.160 - 00:47:19.360]
Adam B. Schiff
And I know this may be awkward for you to answer since it's a question about yourself and your reputation, but is it fair to say that you earned a reputation for being a champion of anticorruption efforts in Ukraine?
[00:47:19.360 - 00:47:31.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, yes.
[00:47:31.720 - 00:47:33.680]
Adam B. Schiff
I don't know if you had a chance to watch George Kent's testimony yesterday, but would you agree with his rather frank assessment that if you fight corruption, you're going to piss off some corrupt people?
[00:47:33.680 - 00:47:45.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[00:47:45.360 - 00:47:46.480]
Adam B. Schiff
And in your efforts fighting corruption to advance U.S. policy interests, did you anger some of the corrupt leaders in Ukraine?
[00:47:46.480 - 00:47:53.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[00:47:53.760 - 00:47:55.400]
Adam B. Schiff
Was one of those corrupt people Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko?
[00:47:55.400 - 00:48:00.280]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, I believe so.
[00:48:00.280 - 00:48:01.640]
Adam B. Schiff
Was another one of those corrupt people Lutsenko's predecessor another corrupt prosecutor general named Viktor Shokin?
[00:48:01.640 - 00:48:08.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
Apparently so, although I've never met him.
[00:48:08.440 - 00:48:12.080]
Adam B. Schiff
At some point did you come to learn that both Lutsenko and Shokin were in touch with Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's lawyer and representative?
[00:48:12.080 - 00:48:20.280]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[00:48:20.280 - 00:48:21.200]
Adam B. Schiff
In fact, did Giuliani try to overturn a decision that you participated in to deny Shokin a visa?
[00:48:21.200 - 00:48:29.800]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that is what I was told.
[00:48:29.800 - 00:48:32.040]
Adam B. Schiff
And that was denial was based on Mr. Shokin's corruption?
[00:48:32.040 - 00:48:35.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that's true.
[00:48:35.520 - 00:48:39.920]
Adam B. Schiff
And was it Mr. Lutsenko, among others, who coordinated with Mr. Giuliani to pedal false accusations against you as well as the Bidens?
[00:48:39.920 - 00:48:48.120]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that is my understanding.
[00:48:48.120 - 00:48:50.400]
Adam B. Schiff
And were these smears also amplified by the president's son, Donald Trump, Jr., as well as certain hosts on Fox?
[00:48:50.400 - 00:48:58.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, yes, that is the case.
[00:48:58.440 - 00:49:03.720]
Adam B. Schiff
In the face of this smear campaign, did colleagues at the State Department try to get a statement of support for you from Secretary Pompeo?
[00:49:03.720 - 00:49:11.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[00:49:11.320 - 00:49:12.680]
Adam B. Schiff
Were they successful?
[00:49:12.680 - 00:49:14.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[00:49:14.520 - 00:49:15.280]
Adam B. Schiff
Did you come to learn that they couldn't issue such a statement because they feared it would be undercut by the president?
[00:49:15.280 - 00:49:22.120]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[00:49:22.120 - 00:49:23.200]
Adam B. Schiff
And then were you told that though you had done nothing wrong you did not enjoy the confidence of the president and could no longer serve as ambassador?
[00:49:23.200 - 00:49:32.600]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that is correct.
[00:49:32.600 - 00:49:34.200]
Adam B. Schiff
In fact, you flew home from Kiev on the same day as the inauguration of Ukraine's new president?
[00:49:34.200 - 00:49:40.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
That's true.
[00:49:40.960 - 00:49:41.960]
Adam B. Schiff
That inauguration was attended by three who have become known as the three amigos, Ambassador Sondland, Volker and Perry, was it?
[00:49:41.960 - 00:49:50.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[00:49:50.160 - 00:49:50.760]
Adam B. Schiff
And three days after that inauguration, in a meeting with President Trump, are you aware that the president designated these three amigos to coordinate Ukraine policy with Rudy Giuliani?
[00:49:50.760 - 00:50:02.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
Since then I have become aware of that.
[00:50:02.960 - 00:50:05.560]
Adam B. Schiff
This is the same Rudy Giuliani who orchestrated the smear campaign against you?
[00:50:05.560 - 00:50:10.640]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[00:50:10.640 - 00:50:11.840]
Adam B. Schiff
And the same Rudy Giuliani who during the now infamous July 25, phone call the President recommended to Zelensky in the context of the two investigations the President wanted into the 2016 election and the Bidens?
[00:50:11.840 - 00:50:24.840]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[00:50:24.840 - 00:50:25.720]
Adam B. Schiff
And finally ambassador in that July 25, phone call they present praises one of these corrupt former Ukrainian prosecutors and says they were treated very unfairly. They were treated unfairly, not you was smeared and recalled but one of them. What message does that send to your colleagues in the U.S. Embassy in Kiev?
[00:50:25.720 - 00:50:52.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
I -- I'm just not sure what the basis for that kind of a statement would be. Certainly not from our reporting over years.
[00:50:52.960 - 00:51:05.120]
Adam B. Schiff
Did you have concern though or do you have concern today about what message the president's actions send to the people who were still in the Ukraine representing the United States when a well-respected ambassador can be smeared out of her post with the participation and acquiescence of the President of the United States?
[00:51:05.120 - 00:51:30.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, it's -- I think been a big hit for morale both at the U.S. Embassy Kiev but also more broadly in the State Department.
[00:51:30.080 - 00:51:40.240]
Adam B. Schiff
Is it fair to say that other ambassadors and others of lesser rank to serve the United States and embassies around the world might look at this and think if I take on corrupt people in these countries that could happen to me?
[00:51:40.240 - 00:51:57.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
I think that is a fair statement, yes.
[00:51:57.320 - 00:52:01.840]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Goldman?
[00:52:01.840 - 00:52:04.200]
Dan Goldman
Ambassador Yovanovitch on April 24 of the sheer at approximately 10 PM you receive a telephone call while you were at the embassy in the Kiev from the director general of the State Department and this was just three days after President Zelensky's election and the call between President Trump and President Zelensky that we just heard from Ranking Member Nunes.
[00:52:04.200 - 00:52:32.040]

At the time that the surgeon call came in what were you in the middle of doing?
[00:52:32.040 - 00:52:38.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
I was hosting an event in honor of [Inaudible] who is an anticorruption activist or was an anticorruption activist in Ukraine. We had given her the woman of courage award from Ukraine and in fact the worldwide woman of courage event at the worldwide women of courage event in Washington DC Secretary Pompeo singled her out for her amazing work in Ukraine to fight corrupt interest in the south of -- of Ukraine.
[00:52:38.720 - 00:53:16.440]

She very tragically died because she was attacked by acid and several months later died a very, very painful death. We thought it was important that justice be done for [Inaudible] and for others to fight corruption in Ukraine because this is -- it's not a you know kind of a tabletop exercise there. Lives are in the balance.
[00:53:16.440 - 00:53:41.400]

And so we wanted to bring attention to this. We held an event and gave her father who of course is still mourning her that -- that award, the women of courage event.
[00:53:41.400 - 00:53:54.600]
Dan Goldman
And her current -- women of courage award stemmed from her anticorruption efforts in Ukraine?
[00:53:54.600 - 00:54:00.240]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that is true.
[00:54:00.240 - 00:54:01.080]
Dan Goldman
Was it ever determined who threw the acid and -- and killed her?
[00:54:01.080 - 00:54:04.880]
Marie Yovanovitch
There had been investigations but while some of the lower ranking individuals that were involved in this have been arrested those who ordered this have not yet been apprehended.
[00:54:04.880 - 00:54:21.120]
Dan Goldman
After you stepped away from this anticorruption event to take this call what did the director general tell you?
[00:54:21.120 - 00:54:28.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
She said that there was great concern on the seventh floor of the State Department, that is where the leadership of the State Department sits, there was great concern, they were worried. She just wanted to give me a heads up about this and you know things seem to be going on and so she just wanted to give me a heads up. I -- you know hard to know how to react to something like that.
[00:54:28.680 - 00:54:52.720]

I asked her what it was about, what did she think it was about. She didn't know. She said that she was going to try and find out more but she had wanted to give me a heads up. In fact I think she may even have been instructed to give me a heads up on that. And so I asked her you know kind of what is the next step here?
[00:54:52.720 - 00:55:09.720]

So she said she would try to find out more and she would try to call me by midnight.
[00:55:09.720 - 00:55:15.000]
Dan Goldman
What happened next?
[00:55:15.000 - 00:55:17.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
Around 1 o'clock in the morning she called me again and she said that there were great concerns, there were concerns up the street and she said I needed to get on -- home -- come home immediately, get on the next plane to the U.S. And I asked her why and she said she wasn't sure but there were concerns about my security.
[00:55:17.160 - 00:55:44.760]

I asked her my physical security because sometimes Washington knows more than we do about these things and she said no, she hadn't gotten that impression that it was a physical security issue but they were concerned about my security and I needed to come home right away. You know I argued. This is extremely irregular and no reason given.
[00:55:44.760 - 00:56:05.240]

But in the end I -- I did get on the next plane home.
[00:56:05.240 - 00:56:10.920]
Dan Goldman
You said you -- there were concerns up the street. What did you understand that you mean?
[00:56:10.920 - 00:56:15.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
The White House.
[00:56:15.160 - 00:56:16.520]
Dan Goldman
Did she explain in any more detail what she meant by concerns about your security?
[00:56:16.520 - 00:56:24.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
No, she didn't. I did specifically ask whether this had to do with the mayor Giuliani's allegations against me and so forth and she said she didn't know, it didn't even actually appear to me that she seemed to be aware of that. No -- no reason was offered.
[00:56:24.760 - 00:56:46.720]
Dan Goldman
Did she explain what the urgency was for you to come back on the next flight?
[00:56:46.720 - 00:56:51.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
The only thing that is pertinent to that is that when she said they -- that there were concerns about my security. That is all but it was not further explained.
[00:56:51.520 - 00:57:01.800]
Dan Goldman
Now prior to this abrupt call back to Washington DC had you been offered an extension of your post by the State Department?
[00:57:01.800 - 00:57:11.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes. Undersecretary -- the undersecretary for political affairs had asked whether I would extend for another -- another year departing in July 2020.
[00:57:11.160 - 00:57:21.600]
Dan Goldman
When was that request made?
[00:57:21.600 - 00:57:24.120]
Marie Yovanovitch
In early March.
[00:57:24.120 - 00:57:25.960]
Dan Goldman
So about a month and a half before this call?
[00:57:25.960 - 00:57:29.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[00:57:29.320 - 00:57:30.000]
Dan Goldman
Did anyone at the State Department ever expressed concerns about your job performance?
[00:57:30.000 - 00:57:36.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[00:57:36.360 - 00:57:37.440]
Dan Goldman
Now after you return to Washington a couple of days after that you met with the Deputy Secretary of State and at your deposition you said that Deputy Secretary of State told you that you had done nothing wrong but that there was a concerted campaign against you. What -- what did he mean by that?
[00:57:37.440 - 00:57:59.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
I am not exactly sure but I took it to mean that the allegations that Mayor Giuliani and others were putting out there that that -- that is what it was.
[00:57:59.200 - 00:58:13.560]
Dan Goldman
And who else was involved in this concerted campaign against you?
[00:58:13.560 - 00:58:18.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
There were some members of the press and others in mayor Giuliani circle.
[00:58:18.480 - 00:58:24.320]
Dan Goldman
And who from Ukraine?
[00:58:24.320 - 00:58:26.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
In Ukraine I think well, Mr. Lutsenko, the prosecutor general and Mr. Shokin, his -- his predecessor certainly.
[00:58:26.960 - 00:58:38.240]
Dan Goldman
And at this time Mr. Lutsenko was the lead prosecutor general, is that right?
[00:58:38.240 - 00:58:43.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that is correct.
[00:58:43.760 - 00:58:44.400]
Dan Goldman
And had President Zelensky indicated whether or not he was going to keep him on after the election?
[00:58:44.400 - 00:58:50.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
He had indicated he would not be keeping on Mr. Lutsenko.
[00:58:50.440 - 00:58:54.480]
Dan Goldman
And I believe you testified earlier that Mr. Lutsenko had a -- a reputation for being corrupt. Is that right?
[00:58:54.480 - 00:59:01.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
That is correct.
[00:59:01.560 - 00:59:02.480]
Dan Goldman
Now during this conversation did the Deputy Secretary tell you about your future as the ambassador to Ukraine?
[00:59:02.480 - 00:59:10.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
Will, he told me I needed to leave.
[00:59:10.320 - 00:59:14.120]
Dan Goldman
What did he say?
[00:59:14.120 - 00:59:16.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
He said that -- I mean there was a lot of back and forth but ultimately he said the words that you know every foreign service officer understands, the President has lost confidence in you. That was you know a terrible thing to hear. And I said well you know I guess I have to go then but no - make no real reason was offered as to why I had to leave and why it was being done in such a manner.
[00:59:16.200 - 00:59:42.720]
Dan Goldman
Did you have any indication that the State Department had lost confidence in you?
[00:59:42.720 - 00:59:47.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[00:59:47.680 - 00:59:49.360]
Dan Goldman
And were you provided in a reason why they President lost confidence in you?
[00:59:49.360 - 00:59:54.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[00:59:54.360 - 00:59:55.240]
Dan Goldman
Now you testified at your deposition that you were told at some point that Secretary Pompeo had tried to protect you but that he was no longer able to do that. Were you aware of these efforts to protect you?
[00:59:55.240 - 01:00:11.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
No, I was not until -- until that meeting with Deputy Secretary Sullivan.
[01:00:11.680 - 01:00:17.960]
Dan Goldman
And were you - make did you understand who he was trying to protect you from?
[01:00:17.960 - 01:00:24.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, my understanding was that the President had wanted me to leave and there was some discussion about that over the prior months.
[01:00:24.080 - 01:00:37.760]
Dan Goldman
Did you have any understanding why Secretary Pompeo was no longer able to protect you?
[01:00:37.760 - 01:00:44.280]
Marie Yovanovitch
No, it was just a statement made that he was no longer able to protect me.
[01:00:44.280 - 01:00:48.120]
Dan Goldman
So just like that you had to leave Ukraine as soon as possible?
[01:00:48.120 - 01:00:52.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:00:52.560 - 01:00:53.280]
Dan Goldman
How did that make you feel?
[01:00:53.280 - 01:00:55.040]
Marie Yovanovitch
Terrible honestly. I mean after 33 years of service to our country it was terrible. It is not the way I wanted my career to end. --
[01:00:55.040 - 01:01:06.280]
Dan Goldman
But you also told this deputy secretary that this was a dangerous precedent. What did you mean by that?
[01:01:06.280 - 01:01:14.280]
Marie Yovanovitch
I was worried -- I was worried about our policy, but also personnel that -- and I asked him how -- how are you going to explain this to people in the State Department, the press, the public, the Ukrainians because everybody is watching and so if people see somebody who -- and of course, it had been very public, the, frankly, the attacks on me by Mayor Giuliani and others and Mr. Lutsenko in Ukraine.
[01:01:14.280 - 01:01:55.920]

If people see that I who have been, you know, promoting our policies on anticorruption, if they can undermine me and get me pulled out of Ukraine, what does that mean for our policy? Do we still have that same policy? How are we going to affirm it if we put that forward? Number one. Number two, when other countries, other actors in other countries see that private interests, foreign interests can come together and get a U.S. ambassador removed, what's going to stop them from doing that in the future in other countries?
[01:01:55.920 - 01:02:38.360]

Often, the work we do we try to be diplomatic about it, but as deputy assistant secretary George Kent said, you know, sometimes we get people really angry with us. It's uncomfortable. And we are doing our jobs, but sometimes people become very angry with us. And if they realize that they can just remove us, they're going to do that.
[01:02:38.360 - 01:03:03.000]
Dan Goldman
How did the deputy secretary respond?
[01:03:03.000 - 01:03:06.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
He -- he said those were good questions and he would get back to me.
[01:03:06.720 - 01:03:13.840]
Dan Goldman
Did he ever get back to you?
[01:03:13.840 - 01:03:15.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
He asked to see me the following day.
[01:03:15.720 - 01:03:17.600]
Dan Goldman
And what did he say to you then?
[01:03:17.600 - 01:03:19.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
He -- really, the conversation was more, and you know, again, I'm grateful for this, but really more to see how I was doing and, you know, what would I do next, kind of how could he help.
[01:03:19.360 - 01:03:35.040]
Dan Goldman
But he didn't address the dangerous precedent that you flagged for him?
[01:03:35.040 - 01:03:39.400]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[01:03:39.400 - 01:03:40.520]
Dan Goldman
Now you understood, of course, that the president of the United States could remove you and that you served at the pleasure of the president. Is that right?
[01:03:40.520 - 01:03:49.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
That's right.
[01:03:49.960 - 01:03:51.120]
Dan Goldman
But in your 33 years as a foreign service officer, have you ever heard of a president of the United States recalling another ambassador without cause based on allegations that the State Department itself knew to be false?
[01:03:51.120 - 01:04:06.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[01:04:06.720 - 01:04:08.120]
Dan Goldman
Now, you testified in your opening statement that you had left Ukraine by the time of the July 25 call between President Trump and President Zelensky. When was the first time that you saw the call record for this phone call?
[01:04:08.120 - 01:04:27.800]
Marie Yovanovitch
When it was released publicly at the end of September, I believe.
[01:04:27.800 - 01:04:33.600]
Dan Goldman
And prior to reading that call record, were you aware that President Trump had specifically made reference to you in that call?
[01:04:33.600 - 01:04:40.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[01:04:40.920 - 01:04:41.920]
Dan Goldman
What was your reaction to learning that?
[01:04:41.920 - 01:04:44.800]
Marie Yovanovitch
I was shocked. Absolutely shocked and devastated, frankly.
[01:04:44.800 - 01:04:50.880]
Dan Goldman
What you mean by devastated?
[01:04:50.880 - 01:04:53.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
I was shocked and devastated that I would feature in a phone call between two heads of state in such a manner where President Trump said that I was bad news to another world leader and that I would be going through some things. So I was -- it was -- it was a terrible moment. The person who saw me actually reading the transcript said that the color drained from my face.
[01:04:53.200 - 01:05:26.680]

I think I even had a physical reaction. I -- I think, you know, even now, words kind of fail me.
[01:05:26.680 - 01:05:35.160]
Dan Goldman
Well, without upsetting you too much, I'd like to show you the excerpts from the call. And the first one where President Trump says the former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news. So I just want to let you know. What was your reaction when you heard the president of the United States refer to you as bad news?
[01:05:35.160 - 01:06:06.240]
Marie Yovanovitch
I couldn't believe it. I mean, again, shocked, appalled, devastated that the president of the United States would talk about any ambassador like that to a foreign head of state. And it was me. I mean, I couldn't believe it.
[01:06:06.240 - 01:06:25.280]
Dan Goldman
The next excerpt when the president references you was a short one, but he said, "Well, she's going to go through some things." What did you think when President Trump told President Zelensky and you read it that you were going to go through some things?
[01:06:25.280 - 01:06:46.840]
Marie Yovanovitch
I didn't know what to think, but I was very concerned.
[01:06:46.840 - 01:06:52.320]
Dan Goldman
What were you concerned about?
[01:06:52.320 - 01:06:54.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
She's going to go through some things. It didn't sound good. It sounded like a threat.
[01:06:54.200 - 01:07:05.840]
Dan Goldman
Did you feel threatened?
[01:07:05.840 - 01:07:08.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
I did.
[01:07:08.160 - 01:07:09.480]
Dan Goldman
How so?
[01:07:09.480 - 01:07:11.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
I didn't know exactly. It is not, you know, a very precise phrase, but I think it -- it didn't feel like I was -- I really didn't don't know how to answer the question any further except to say that it kind of felt like a vague threat, and so I wondered what that meant. It concerned me.
[01:07:11.960 - 01:07:39.560]
Dan Goldman
Now, in this same call where the president, as you just said, threatens you, to a foreign leader, he also parade -- praises, rather, that corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor who led the false smear campaign against you. I want to show you another excerpt or two from the transcript or the call record, rather, where the president of the United States says, "Good, because I heard you have had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair.
[01:07:39.560 - 01:08:16.800]

A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved." And he went on later to say, "I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor, so good luck with everything." Now, Ambassador Yovanovitch, after nearly 3 years in Ukraine, where you tried to clean up the prosecutor general's office, was it that U.S. embassy' view that the former prosecutor general was very good and very fair prosecutor?
[01:08:16.800 - 01:08:53.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
No, it was not.
[01:08:53.440 - 01:08:55.680]
Dan Goldman
And in fact, he was rather corrupt. Is that right?
[01:08:55.680 - 01:09:00.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
That was our belief.
[01:09:00.920 - 01:09:01.920]
Dan Goldman
The prosecutor general's office is a long running problem in the Ukraine, is that right?
[01:09:01.920 - 01:09:07.800]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:09:07.800 - 01:09:08.680]
Dan Goldman
So how did you feel when you heard President Trump speak so highly of the corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor who helped to execute that smear campaign to have you removed?
[01:09:08.680 - 01:09:20.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, I was -- it was disappointing. It was concerning. It wasn't certainly based on anything that that State Department would have reported or, frankly, anybody else in the US government. There was an interagency consensus that while when Mr. Lutsenko came and to office, we were very hopeful that he would actually do the things that he said he would set out to do, including reforming the prosecutor general's office, but that did not materialize.
[01:09:20.920 - 01:09:54.480]
Dan Goldman
So this was not the uniform position of the official U.S. policymakers, is that right?
[01:09:54.480 - 01:10:02.840]
Marie Yovanovitch
Right.
[01:10:02.840 - 01:10:04.080]
Dan Goldman
Now let's go back into the smear campaign that you referenced and in March you said it became public and you previously testified that you had learned that Rudy Giuliani, President. Trump's lawyer and representative who was also mentioned in that July 25 call was in regular communication with the corrupt prosecutor general in late 2018 and in early 2019. And at one point in your deposition, you said that they, that being Giuliani and the corrupt foreign prosecutor general had plans to "Do things to me." What did you mean by that?
[01:10:04.080 - 01:10:45.600]
Marie Yovanovitch
I didn't -- I didn't really know, but that's what I had been told by Ukrainian officials.
[01:10:45.600 - 01:10:51.240]
Dan Goldman
Did you subsequently understand a little bit more of what that meant?
[01:10:51.240 - 01:10:57.280]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well you know, now with the advantage of hindsight, I think that meant removing me from my job in Ukraine.
[01:10:57.280 - 01:11:02.600]
Dan Goldman
Who did you understand to be working with Mr. Giuliani as his associates in Ukraine?
[01:11:02.600 - 01:11:10.240]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, certainly Mr. Lutsenko, Mr. Shokin. I believe that there were also Ukrainian Americans, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, who have recently been indicted.
[01:11:10.240 - 01:11:24.400]
Dan Goldman
They -- those for the two who have been indicted in New York?
[01:11:24.400 - 01:11:28.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
The Southern District of New York.
[01:11:28.440 - 01:11:29.640]
Dan Goldman
Now, at the end of March, this effort by Giuliani and his associates resulted in a series of articles in The Hill publication that were based on allegations in part from Lutsenko, the corrupt prosecutor general. And just to summarize some of these allegations, there were among others three different categories.
[01:11:29.640 - 01:11:56.160]

One category included the attacks against you, which you referenced in your opening statement, including the you had bad mouthed the president and had given the prosecutor general a do not prosecute list. There was another that included allegations of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election, and then there was a third that related to allegations concerning Burisma and the Bidens.
[01:11:56.160 - 01:12:21.960]

Does that -- is that accurate?
[01:12:21.960 - 01:12:23.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah. Yes.
[01:12:23.320 - 01:12:25.200]
Dan Goldman
Were these articles and allegations then promoted by others associated with the president in the United States?
[01:12:25.200 - 01:12:33.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
They seemed to be promoted by those around Mayor Giuliani.
[01:12:33.440 - 01:12:43.880]
Dan Goldman
I'm going to show you a couple of exhibits, including a tweet here by President Trump himself on March 20th, which was the first day that one of these articles was published. It appears to be a -- a quote that says "John Solomon," who's the author of the articles, colon, "As Russia collusion fades, Ukrainian plot to help Clinton emerges," at Sean Hannity, at Fox News.
[01:12:43.880 - 01:13:12.480]

And then if I could go to another two weeks four days later, this is the president's son, Donald Trump, Jr., who tweets, "We need more at Richard Grenells," who is the ambassador to Germany. Is that right?
[01:13:12.480 - 01:13:26.880]
Marie Yovanovitch
That's correct.
[01:13:26.880 - 01:13:27.480]
Dan Goldman
And less of these jokers as ambassadors. And it's a retweet of one of John Solomon's articles -- or an article referencing the allegations, that says, "Calls grow to remove Obama's U.S. ambassador to Ukraine." Were you aware of these tweets at the time?
[01:13:27.480 - 01:13:46.640]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:13:46.640 - 01:13:47.920]
Dan Goldman
What was your reaction to seeing this?
[01:13:47.920 - 01:13:49.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, I was worried.
[01:13:49.760 - 01:13:50.960]
Dan Goldman
What were you worried about?
[01:13:50.960 - 01:13:53.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
And that this didn't seem -- these attacks were, you know, being repeated by the president himself and -- and his son.
[01:13:53.320 - 01:14:04.600]
Dan Goldman
And were you aware whether they received attention on prime time television on Fox News as well?
[01:14:04.600 - 01:14:12.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, I did.
[01:14:12.520 - 01:14:14.040]
Dan Goldman
Now, were the -- was the allegation that you were badmouthing President Trump true?
[01:14:14.040 - 01:14:19.120]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[01:14:19.120 - 01:14:20.240]
Dan Goldman
Was the allegation that you had created a do not prosecute list to give to the prosecutor general in Ukraine true?
[01:14:20.240 - 01:14:29.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[01:14:29.720 - 01:14:30.480]
Dan Goldman
In fact, didn't the corrupt prosecutor general himself later recant those allegations?
[01:14:30.480 - 01:14:36.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:14:36.320 - 01:14:36.920]
Dan Goldman
Now, when these articles were first published, did the State Department issue a response?
[01:14:36.920 - 01:14:43.280]
Marie Yovanovitch
As you said, there was a series of articles. So, after the first article, which was an interview with Mr. Lutsenko and was only really about me and made certain allegations about me, the State Department came out the following day with a -- a very strong statement saying that, you know, these -- these allegations were fabrications.
[01:14:43.280 - 01:15:08.440]
Dan Goldman
So, the statement address the falsity of the allegations themselves?
[01:15:08.440 - 01:15:13.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:15:13.960 - 01:15:14.720]
Dan Goldman
It didn't say anything about your job performance in any way?
[01:15:14.720 - 01:15:18.600]
Marie Yovanovitch
You know, honestly, I -- I haven't looked at it in a very long time. I think it was generally probably laudatory. I can't recall.
[01:15:18.600 - 01:15:27.360]
Dan Goldman
Did anyone in the State Department raise any concerns with you or express any belief in these allegations?
[01:15:27.360 - 01:15:35.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
No. I mean, people thought it was ridiculous.
[01:15:35.440 - 01:15:38.240]
Dan Goldman
Now, after these false allegations were made against you, did you have any discussions with anyone in leadership in the State Department about a potential statement of support from the department or the secretary himself?
[01:15:38.240 - 01:15:53.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes. After the -- the tweets that -- that you just showed us, I mean, it seemed to me that if the president's son is -- is saying things like this, that it would be very hard to continue in my position and have authority in Ukraine unless the State Department came out pretty strongly behind me. And so, you know, over -- over the weekend of like March 22nd, I think that's about the date, there was a lot of discussion on email among a -- a number of people about what could -- what could be done.
[01:15:53.720 - 01:16:26.560]

I and undersecretary -- the undersecretary for political affairs called me on -- on Sunday. And I -- I said, you know, it's really important that the secretary himself come out and be supportive, because otherwise it's hard for me to be the kind of representative you need here. And he said he would talk to the secretary.
[01:16:26.560 - 01:16:47.440]

I mean, that was -- that's my recollection of the call. That may not be exactly how it played out. That was the -- my recollection.
[01:16:47.440 - 01:16:55.080]
Dan Goldman
This is David Hale, the undersecretary of political affairs whose that number three person at the State Department?
[01:16:55.080 - 01:17:02.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:17:02.720 - 01:17:05.120]
Dan Goldman
Did he indicate to you that he supported such a -- a statement of support for you?
[01:17:05.120 - 01:17:09.040]
Marie Yovanovitch
I think you must have, because I don't think he would have gone to the secretary if he -- if he didn't support it. I mean, you wouldn't bring a bad idea to the secretary of state.
[01:17:09.040 - 01:17:18.240]
Dan Goldman
Your general understanding is that you did have the full support of the State Department. Is that right?
[01:17:18.240 - 01:17:25.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:17:25.080 - 01:17:25.560]
Dan Goldman
And in fact, during your 33 your career as a foreign service officer, did you ever hear of any serious concerns about your job performance?
[01:17:25.560 - 01:17:32.880]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[01:17:32.880 - 01:17:33.120]
Dan Goldman
Was the statement of support ultimately issued for you?
[01:17:33.120 - 01:17:39.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
No, it was not.
[01:17:39.680 - 01:17:41.120]
Dan Goldman
Did you learn why not?
[01:17:41.120 - 01:17:42.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah. Yes. I was told that there was concern on the seventh floor that if the statement of support was issued, whether by the State Department or by the secretary personally, that it could be undermined.
[01:17:42.080 - 01:18:02.400]
Dan Goldman
How would it -- could it be undermined?
[01:18:02.400 - 01:18:05.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
That the president might issue a -- a tweet contradicting that, or something to that effect.
[01:18:05.480 - 01:18:12.040]
Dan Goldman
So, let me see if I got this right. You were one of the most senior diplomats in the State Department. You'd been there for 33 years. You'd want a numerous awards. You'd been appointed as an ambassador three times by both Republican and Democratic presidents. And the State Department would not issue a statement in support of you against false allegations because they were concerned about a tweet from the president of the United States?
[01:18:12.040 - 01:18:41.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
That's my understanding.
[01:18:41.200 - 01:18:42.800]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Goldman, if I could follow up on that question, it seems like an appropriate time. Ambassador Yovanovitch, as we sit here testifying, the president is attacking you on Twitter, and I'd like to give you a chance to respond. I'll read part of one of his tweets. "Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.
[01:18:42.800 - 01:19:00.040]

She started off in Somalia. How did that go?" He goes on to say later in the tweets, "It is U.S. president's absolute right to appoint ambassadors." First of all, Ambassador Yovanovitch, the Senate has a chance to confirm or deny an ambassador, do they not?
[01:19:00.040 - 01:19:12.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, advise and consent.
[01:19:12.560 - 01:19:15.040]
Adam B. Schiff
But would you like to respond to the president's attack, that everywhere you went turned bad?
[01:19:15.040 - 01:19:21.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, I -- I mean, I don't -- I don't think I have such powers, not in Mogadishu, Somalia and not in other places. I actually think that where I've served over the years, I and others have demonstrably made things better, you know, for the U.S. as well as for the countries that I've served in. Ukraine, for example, where there are huge challenges, including, you know, the issue that we are discussing today, of -- of corruption, huge challenges, but they've made a lot of progress since 2014, including in the years that I was there.
[01:19:21.160 - 01:19:58.400]

And I think in part -- I mean, the Ukrainian people get the most -- the most credit for that. But a part of that credit goes to the work of the United States and -- and to me as the ambassador in -- in the unite -- in Ukraine.
[01:19:58.400 - 01:20:13.280]
Adam B. Schiff
Ambassador, you've shown the courage to come forward today and testify notwithstanding the fact you are urged by the White House or State Department not to, notwithstanding the fact that, as you testified earlier, the president implicitly threatened you in that call record. --
[01:20:13.280 - 01:20:29.440]

And now the president in real-time is attacking you. What effect do you think that has on other witnesses' willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing?
[01:20:29.440 - 01:20:39.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, it's very intimidating.
[01:20:39.080 - 01:20:42.960]
Adam B. Schiff
It's designed to intimidate, is it not?
[01:20:42.960 - 01:20:46.000]
Marie Yovanovitch
I mean, I can't speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating.
[01:20:46.000 - 01:20:56.320]
Adam B. Schiff
Well, I want to let you know, Ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously. Mr. Goldman.
[01:20:56.320 - 01:21:07.200]
Dan Goldman
Ambassador Yovanovitch, you indicated that those same articles in March that included the smear campaign also included allegations related to Ukraine's interference in the 2016 election and the Burisma, Biden connection. Is that right?
[01:21:07.200 - 01:21:28.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:21:28.480 - 01:21:28.920]
Dan Goldman
So I'm going to end my questioning where we were before, which was the July 25 call. And President Trump not only insults you and praises the corrupt prosecutor general, but he also, as you know by now, references these two investigations. First, immediately after President Zelensky thanks President Trump for his, quote, great support in the area of defense, unquote, President Trump responds, I would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot, and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine.
[01:21:28.920 - 01:22:26.720]

They say CrowdStrike. I guess you have one of your wealthy people, the server. They say Ukraine has it. And then he goes on in that same paragraph to say, whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it, if that's possible. Now Ambassador Yovanovitch, from your experience as the ambassador in Ukraine for almost three years, and understanding that President Zelensky was not in politics before he ran for president and was a new president on this call, how would you expect President Zelensky to interpret a request for a favor?
[01:22:26.720 - 01:23:00.120]
Marie Yovanovitch
The U.S. relationship for Ukraine is the single most important relationship, and so I think that President Zelensky, any president, would, you know, do what they could to, you know, lean in on a favor request. I'm not saying that that's a yes. I'm saying they would try to lean in and see what they could do.
[01:23:00.120 - 01:23:21.200]
Dan Goldman
Fair to say that a president of Ukraine that is so dependent on the United States would do just about anything within his power to please the president of the United States if he could?
[01:23:21.200 - 01:23:32.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
You know, if he could. I mean, I'm sure there are limits. And I understand there were a lot of discretions in the Ukrainian government about all of this. But yeah. I mean, we are an important relationship on the security side and on the political side. And so the president of Ukraine, one of the most important functions that individual has, is to make sure the relationship with the U.S. is rock solid.
[01:23:32.320 - 01:24:06.240]
Dan Goldman
Now are you familiar with these allegations of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election?
[01:24:06.240 - 01:24:10.800]
Marie Yovanovitch
I mean, there have been rumors out there about things like that, but you know, there was nothing hard, at least nothing that I was aware of.
[01:24:10.800 - 01:24:22.400]
Dan Goldman
There was nothing based in fact to support these allegations?
[01:24:22.400 - 01:24:28.120]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:24:28.120 - 01:24:28.840]
Dan Goldman
And in fact, who was responsible for interfering and meddling in the 2016 election?
[01:24:28.840 - 01:24:35.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that it was Russia.
[01:24:35.200 - 01:24:38.160]
Dan Goldman
Ambassador Yovanovitch, are you aware that in February 2017 Vladimir Putin himself promoted this theory of Ukraine interference in the 2016 election?
[01:24:38.160 - 01:24:47.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
You know, maybe I knew that once and have forgotten, but I'm not familiar with it now.
[01:24:47.560 - 01:24:55.720]
Dan Goldman
Well, let me show you a press statement that President Putin made in a joint press conference with Viktor Orban of Hungary on February 2 of 2017 where he says, second, as we all know, during the presidential campaign in the United States the Ukrainian government adopted a unilateral position in favor of one candidate.
[01:24:55.720 - 01:25:17.800]

More than that, certain oligarchs, certainly with the approval of the political leadership, funded this candidate, or female candidate to be more precise. Now how would this theory of Ukraine interference in the 2016 election be in Vladimir Putin's interest?
[01:25:17.800 - 01:25:36.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, I mean, President Putin must have been aware that there were concerns in the U.S. about Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, and what the potential was for Russian meddling in the future. So, you know, classic for an intelligence officer to try to throw off the scent and, you know, create an alternative narrative that maybe might get picked up and get some credence.
[01:25:36.760 - 01:25:59.560]
Dan Goldman
An alternative narrative that would absolve his own wrongdoing?
[01:25:59.560 - 01:26:01.800]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah.
[01:26:01.800 - 01:26:02.000]
Dan Goldman
And when he talks about an oligarch and he talks about the support of the Ukrainian government, there's also a reference in the July 25 call to a wealthy Ukrainian. Is it your understanding that what Vladimir Putin is saying here in this press statement in February 2017 is similar to what President Trump says on the July 25 call related to the 2016 election?
[01:26:02.000 - 01:26:26.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
Maybe.
[01:26:26.160 - 01:26:27.720]
Dan Goldman
Now let me show you another exhibit from the call related to the Bidens, which I'm sure you're familiar with. President Trump says, the other thing. There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that. So whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.
[01:26:27.720 - 01:26:57.200]

Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me. Now are you familiar with the allegation -- these allegations related to Vice President Biden?
[01:26:57.200 - 01:27:15.600]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:27:15.600 - 01:27:16.120]
Dan Goldman
Do you know whether he ever went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution of anyone?
[01:27:16.120 - 01:27:21.000]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[01:27:21.000 - 01:27:21.440]
Dan Goldman
And in fact, when Vice President Biden acted to remove the former corrupt prosecutor in Ukraine, did he do so as part of official United States policy?
[01:27:21.440 - 01:27:29.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
Official U.S. policy. That was endorsed and was the policy of a number of other international stakeholders, other countries, other monetary institutions, financial institutions.
[01:27:29.560 - 01:27:44.560]
Dan Goldman
And in fact, if he helped to remove a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor general who was not prosecuting enough corruption, that would increase the chances that corrupt companies in Ukraine would be investigated. Isn't that right?
[01:27:44.560 - 01:27:58.640]
Marie Yovanovitch
One would think so.
[01:27:58.640 - 01:27:59.720]
Dan Goldman
And that could include Burisma, right?
[01:27:59.720 - 01:28:02.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:28:02.200 - 01:28:02.520]
Dan Goldman
Now at the time of this call, Vice President Biden was the front runner for the Democratic nomination for president and President Trump's potential next opponent in the election. Is it your understanding that President Trump's request to have Vice President Biden investigated, was that part of official U.S. policy as you knew it?
[01:28:02.520 - 01:28:29.640]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, I should say that I had -- at the time of this phone call, I had already departed Ukraine two months prior.
[01:28:29.640 - 01:28:38.720]
Dan Goldman
Right, but you're familiar with -- it didn't change that much in two months, right?
[01:28:38.720 - 01:28:44.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
It certainly would not have been the policy in May when I left.
[01:28:44.080 - 01:28:48.640]
Dan Goldman
And were these two investigations part of the anticorruption platform that you championed in Ukraine for three years?
[01:28:48.640 - 01:28:55.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[01:28:55.480 - 01:28:56.640]
Dan Goldman
In these investigations, do they appear to you to be to benefit the president's personal and political interests rather than the national interest?
[01:28:56.640 - 01:29:03.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, they certainly could.
[01:29:03.080 - 01:29:04.960]
Dan Goldman
Now, just returning to the allegations in the Hill publication in March that were promoted by Mr. Giuliani, the president's lawyer, were those two allegations similar to the two allegations that the president wanted President Zelensky to investigate?
[01:29:04.960 - 01:29:20.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:29:20.720 - 01:29:21.200]
Dan Goldman
So ultimately in the July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president, the president of the United States endorsed the false allegations against you and the Bidens. Is that right?
[01:29:21.200 - 01:29:31.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:29:31.080 - 01:29:31.600]
Dan Goldman
I yield back, Mr. Chairman.
[01:29:31.600 - 01:29:33.240]
K. Michael Conaway
Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry, please.
[01:29:33.240 - 01:29:35.160]
Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman will suspend. Votes are fairly imminent. We're going to take a brief recess. I would ask everyone to remain seated...
[01:29:35.160 - 01:29:42.200]
K. Michael Conaway
Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry, please.
[01:29:42.200 - 01:29:47.280]
Adam B. Schiff
...to allow the witness to exit the room, and we will resume after votes.
[01:29:47.280 - 01:29:49.600]
K. Michael Conaway
Mr. Chairman, I have a parliamentary inquiry.
[01:29:49.600 - 01:29:52.000]
Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman can seek recognition after we resume.
[01:29:52.000 - 01:29:53.640]
Note
[The committee is in recess.]
[01:29:53.640 - 01:29:55.120]
Adam B. Schiff
The meeting will come to order.
[01:29:55.120 - 01:29:58.320]
K. Michael Conaway
Mr. Chairman I have a parliamentary inquiry.
[01:29:58.320 - 01:30:04.480]
Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman will state his inquiry.
[01:30:04.480 - 01:30:06.800]
K. Michael Conaway
Thank you, sir. It appears that counsel for the witness this morning has paper copies of these slides that were used during the questioning. If that is true does that mean that you and/or your team has been in coordination with him and/or her with respect to her testimony this morning? If that is true how does that comport with H Res.
[01:30:06.800 - 01:30:22.440]

660 and the fairness that is purportedly associated with that resolution?
[01:30:22.440 - 01:30:28.240]
Adam B. Schiff
The -- the gentleman -- the TV for the witness is wasn't working so they were given copies this morning. It is now 45 minutes to the Ranking Member Nunes and minority counsel.
[01:30:28.240 - 01:30:39.840]
K. Michael Conaway
Excuse me. [Inaudible] you said that the screen in front of them is not working?
[01:30:39.840 - 01:30:45.280]
Adam B. Schiff
My understanding is the screen was not working in front of them so they were given copies so they could read along since they can't see the screens that we can. Mr. Nunes you are recognized for 45 minutes along with minority counsel.
[01:30:45.280 - 01:31:07.240]
Devin Nunes
First Mr. Chair I want to submit for the record Senator Grassley's letter to the Department of Justice dated July 20, 2017. I read a portion of that into the record during my opening statement.
[01:31:07.240 - 01:31:40.120]
Adam B. Schiff
Without objection.
[01:31:40.120 - 01:31:41.040]
Devin Nunes
Ambassador congratulate you. You have been down in the secret deposition meeting rooms, you have graduated for your performance today. Later this afternoon I should note that for the public that we will be back down in the basement of the capital doing more of these secret depositions. Ambassador I just have -- I don't really have very many questions for you.
[01:31:41.040 - 01:31:59.480]

You admitted in your opening statement that you don't have any firsthand knowledge of the issues that we are looking into. But I do want to talk a little bit about Senator Grassley very briefly. I assume that you know who Senator Grassley is.
[01:31:59.480 - 01:32:12.400]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, sir, I do.
[01:32:12.400 - 01:32:13.520]
Devin Nunes
Do you believe that Senator Grassley is a serious and credible elected official?
[01:32:13.520 - 01:32:17.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
I have no reason to think otherwise.
[01:32:17.720 - 01:32:20.200]
Devin Nunes
Were you involved in the July 25 Trump-Zelensky phone call or preparations for the call?
[01:32:20.200 - 01:32:27.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
No, I was not.
[01:32:27.760 - 01:32:28.920]
Devin Nunes
Were you involved in the operations about the pause in military sales to Ukraine as the Trump administration reviewed newly elected President Zelensky's commitment to corruption reforms?
[01:32:28.920 - 01:32:42.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
For the delay in --
[01:32:42.200 - 01:32:43.400]
Devin Nunes
For the pause?
[01:32:43.400 - 01:32:44.600]
Marie Yovanovitch
The pause, no, I was not.
[01:32:44.600 - 01:32:46.760]
Devin Nunes
Were you involved in the proposed Trump-Zelensky, later Pence-Zelensky meetings in Warsaw Poland on September 1?
[01:32:46.760 - 01:32:58.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
No, I was not.
[01:32:58.480 - 01:33:00.240]
Devin Nunes
Did you ever talk to President Trump in 2019?
[01:33:00.240 - 01:33:05.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
No, I have not.
[01:33:05.960 - 01:33:06.760]
Devin Nunes
Mick Mulvaney?
[01:33:06.760 - 01:33:08.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
No, I have not.
[01:33:08.760 - 01:33:09.920]
Devin Nunes
Thank you, ambassador. I'm not exactly sure what the ambassador's doing here today. This is the House Intelligence Committee that has now turned into the house impeachment committee. This seems more appropriate on human resources at the Foreign Affairs Committee if there's issues with employment, disagreements with the administration it would seem like this would be a more appropriate setting instead of an impeachment hearing where the ambassador is not a material fact witness to anything -- any of the accusations that are being hurled at the president for this impeachment inquiry.
[01:33:09.920 - 01:33:56.440]

I am -- I have several questions I think Mr. Castor wants to get to. I know Ms. Stefanik you had a few quick questions of the ambassador. I yield to you Ms. Stefanik.
[01:33:56.440 - 01:34:07.360]
Elise M. Stefanik
Thank you Mr. Nunes. Ambassador Yovanovitch, thank you for being here today.
[01:34:07.360 - 01:34:17.680]
Adam B. Schiff
The gentlewoman -- the gentlewoman will suspend. The gentlewoman will suspend.
[01:34:17.680 - 01:34:22.440]
Elise M. Stefanik
What is the interruption for this time? It is our time.
[01:34:22.440 - 01:34:27.200]
Adam B. Schiff
The gentlewoman will suspend. You are not recognized. Mr. Nunes you or minority counsel --
[01:34:27.200 - 01:34:38.680]
Devin Nunes
I just -- I just recognized --
[01:34:38.680 - 01:34:41.040]
Adam B. Schiff
Under the House Resolution 660 you're not allowed to yield time except to minority counsel.
[01:34:41.040 - 01:34:48.160]
Elise M. Stefanik
The ranking member yielded time to another member of Congress.
[01:34:48.160 - 01:34:52.080]
Adam B. Schiff
No, that is not accurate.
[01:34:52.080 - 01:34:54.920]
Devin Nunes
You are gagging the young lady from New York.
[01:34:54.920 - 01:34:56.120]
Elise M. Stefanik
That is accurate. Ambassador Yovanovitch, I want to thank you for being here today.
[01:34:56.120 - 01:35:01.640]
Adam B. Schiff
The gentlewoman will suspend. You are not recognized.
[01:35:01.640 - 01:35:04.000]
Elise M. Stefanik
This is the fifth time you have interrupted members of Congress --
[01:35:04.000 - 01:35:07.160]
Adam B. Schiff
The gentlewoman --
[01:35:07.160 - 01:35:08.960]
Elise M. Stefanik
-- duly elected members of Congress.
[01:35:08.960 - 01:35:11.680]
Adam B. Schiff
-- is not recognized. The gentlewoman will suspend.
[01:35:11.680 - 01:35:14.920]
Devin Nunes
Mr. Chair we control the time. It's been customary of this committee that whoever controls the time can yield to whoever they wish of the members of Congress that have a few questions seems appropriate that we would be able to let Ms. Stefanik ask her questions.
[01:35:14.920 - 01:35:28.720]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Nunes you or minority counsel are recognized.
[01:35:28.720 - 01:35:30.800]
Devin Nunes
All right. Mr. Castor you are recognized.
[01:35:30.800 - 01:35:33.080]
Steve Castor
Thank you Mr. Nunes. Ambassador welcome. Thank you for -- thank your service 33 years an extraordinary career it really has been a remarkable tenure for you at the State Department. I also would like to thank you for participating here today. This is a crazy environment; this hearing room has turned into a television studio.
[01:35:33.080 - 01:35:48.840]

Before today you spent on Friday 11th you were with us for early in the morning until I believe it was 8 o'clock at night people missed trains back to New York and it was a complete -- a very complete day so thank you. You were serving a three-year assignment in the Ukraine is that correct?
[01:35:48.840 - 01:36:08.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:36:08.480 - 01:36:08.920]
Steve Castor
And it began in 2016 and was scheduled to -- to end in 2019?
[01:36:08.920 - 01:36:15.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that is correct.
[01:36:15.920 - 01:36:19.240]
Steve Castor
And no -- nobody disputes that it is up to the president who decide to his envoy -- who his envoys are to post around the world, correct?
[01:36:19.240 - 01:36:32.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
I stated that clearly in my statement.
[01:36:32.320 - 01:36:35.520]
Steve Castor
And you -- you returned from the Ukraine on May 20, 2019?
[01:36:35.520 - 01:36:42.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
That is correct.
[01:36:42.920 - 01:36:44.800]
Steve Castor
And your return coincided with the inauguration of President Zelensky?
[01:36:44.800 - 01:36:48.880]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:36:48.880 - 01:36:49.400]
Steve Castor
And you remain employed by the state department?
[01:36:49.400 - 01:36:51.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
I do.
[01:36:51.200 - 01:36:52.800]
Steve Castor
And after you returned to Washington the Deputy Secretary John Sullivan asked you what you wanted to do next is that correct?
[01:36:52.800 - 01:37:00.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that is correct.
[01:37:00.720 - 01:37:01.680]
Steve Castor
And then you met with the director General Ambassador Perez?
[01:37:01.680 - 01:37:03.240]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes that is correct.
[01:37:03.240 - 01:37:04.400]
Steve Castor
To identify a meaningful new assignment?
[01:37:04.400 - 01:37:06.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:37:06.320 - 01:37:06.440]
Steve Castor
And -- and you now serve at Georgetown University as a fellow?
[01:37:06.440 - 01:37:08.880]
Marie Yovanovitch
That's true.
[01:37:08.880 - 01:37:09.920]
Steve Castor
This is a rewarding position for you?
[01:37:09.920 - 01:37:11.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
I am very grateful to be in that position after what happened.
[01:37:11.680 - 01:37:13.560]
Steve Castor
Today is the second big hearing for the Democrats impeachment initiative but we don't understand or we -- we do understand that you -- you don't have a lot of facts and information relating to the part of this that we -- we are investigating and those are the events from May 20 up until September 8, the release of the security assistance funds, is that correct?
[01:37:13.560 - 01:37:38.880]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that is great.
[01:37:38.880 - 01:37:40.320]
Steve Castor
So you were not part of the delegation to the inauguration; that was the day he returned. You were not part of the Oval Office meeting May 23, to request more
[01:37:40.320 - 01:37:51.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that is correct.
[01:37:51.720 - 01:37:52.840]
Steve Castor
Any you were not part of the decision-making relating to whether there would be a White House meeting with President Zelensky?
[01:37:52.840 - 01:37:58.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
That is correct.
[01:37:58.440 - 01:38:02.600]
Steve Castor
And you were not a part of any decision-making in the lead up to the July 25 call?
[01:38:02.600 - 01:38:12.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
That is correct.
[01:38:12.960 - 01:38:14.520]
Steve Castor
And you first learned about the call on September 25, is that correct?
[01:38:14.520 - 01:38:18.120]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, I heard about the call as I indicated in -- in the first deposition from Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent.
[01:38:18.120 - 01:38:29.200]
Steve Castor
And what did he -- what did he tell you about the call?
[01:38:29.200 - 01:38:33.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, as it turns out it wasn't correct but what I recall is that he said that President Trump had asked President Zelensky whether he could you know help him out and which I understood to be these investigations and that President Zelensky had said that he is putting in a new prosecutor general and that he doesn't control -- I mean this is approximately what he said that that person is independent individual.
[01:38:33.680 - 01:39:05.720]
Steve Castor
Okay. And you learned about that before the call was made public?
[01:39:05.720 - 01:39:09.240]
Marie Yovanovitch
That is correct.
[01:39:09.240 - 01:39:11.480]
Steve Castor
Likewise, you were not involved in any discussions surrounding the security sector assistance funds to Ukraine? They were paused for about 55 days from July 18 to September 11?
[01:39:11.480 - 01:39:21.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
No discussions.
[01:39:21.360 - 01:39:21.720]
Steve Castor
Okay. In your opening statement on page 9 you stated, although then and now I've always understood that I served at the pleasure of the president, I still find it difficult to comprehend that foreign and private interests were able to undermine U.S. interests in this way. Individuals who apparently felt stymied by our efforts to promote stated U.S. policy against corruption, that is to do the mission, were able to successfully conduct a campaign of disinformation against the sitting ambassador using unofficial back channels.
[01:39:21.720 - 01:40:00.800]

Do you believe that President Trump was aiming to weaponize corruption in Ukraine by removing you?
[01:40:00.800 - 01:40:05.600]
Marie Yovanovitch
I -- I -- I don't know that.
[01:40:05.600 - 01:40:10.480]
Steve Castor
Okay. Do you believe your removal was part of some scheme to -- to make it easier for elements of the Ukrainian establishment to do things counter to U.S. interests?
[01:40:10.480 - 01:40:18.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
I think that's certainly what the Ukrainian establishment hoped. I think that in addition, there were Americans, these two individuals, who were working with Mayor Giuliani, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, who have recently been indicted by the Southern District of New York, who indicated that they wanted to change out the ambassador, and I think they must have had some reason for that.
[01:40:18.920 - 01:40:45.080]
Steve Castor
And do you think they were seeking a different type of ambassador that would allow them to achieve some of their objectives?
[01:40:45.080 - 01:40:54.280]
Marie Yovanovitch
I don't know what other reason there would be.
[01:40:54.280 - 01:40:56.160]
Steve Castor
Okay. Is Ambassador Taylor the type of person that would facilitate those objectives?
[01:40:56.160 - 01:41:02.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[01:41:02.920 - 01:41:06.480]
Steve Castor
So Ambassador Taylor is a man of high integrity?
[01:41:06.480 - 01:41:11.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
Absolutely.
[01:41:11.520 - 01:41:12.280]
Steve Castor
And he's a -- he's a good pick for the post?
[01:41:12.280 - 01:41:19.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
He is. I would note that he is the [Inaudible] out there, as of course you understand, so no ambassador has yet been -- or no candidate has yet been named to -- to the position.
[01:41:19.360 - 01:41:31.560]
Steve Castor
But he certainly has had a decorated career serving his country?
[01:41:31.560 - 01:41:34.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
Absolutely, a man of the highest integrity.
[01:41:34.720 - 01:41:36.120]
Steve Castor
You testified about when you first learned that Mayor Giuliani and some of his associates were -- had a concerted campaign against you. When did that first come to your attention?
[01:41:36.120 - 01:41:43.640]
Marie Yovanovitch
We were picking up rumors from Ukrainians. I think, you know, kind of in the November, December 2018 time period. But then in January, February and of course March it became more obvious.
[01:41:43.640 - 01:42:00.520]
Steve Castor
At some point I believe you testified that Minister Avakov alerted you to this campaign.
[01:42:00.520 - 01:42:09.880]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[01:42:09.880 - 01:42:10.560]
Steve Castor
And when was that?
[01:42:10.560 - 01:42:12.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
He had -- he had a conversation with me in February 2019.
[01:42:12.720 - 01:42:18.320]
Steve Castor
Okay, and do you remember what he related to you?
[01:42:18.320 - 01:42:22.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, he said that Mr. Lutsenko was working with Mayor Giuliani through these two individuals, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, that they basically wanted to remove me from post and that they were working on that.
[01:42:22.200 - 01:42:35.120]
Steve Castor
And did you have any awareness at that point in time of precisely why they were seeking your ouster?
[01:42:35.120 - 01:42:41.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
You know, I didn't. I didn't understand that at all because I had never met Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, and so it was unclear to me why they were interested in doing this.
[01:42:41.760 - 01:42:55.200]
Steve Castor
Were you specially -- especially influential implementing policies that stymied their interests in Ukraine, or advocating for some sort of environment or policies that would be adverse to them?
[01:42:55.200 - 01:43:06.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
I think that -- just -- just the general idea that obviously U.S. ambassadors, U.S. embassies, one of our most important functions is to facilitate U.S. business abroad, right, whether it's trade, whether it's commerce. That's one of the things that we do. And -- but, you know, everything has to be above board.
[01:43:06.680 - 01:43:30.920]

We believe in a level playing ground and so forth, but we obviously advocate for U.S. business. These two individuals, you know, with hindsight and what we learned later, looking to open up a new energy company exporting liquefied natural gas to Ukraine, never actually came to the embassy, which is unusual because that would usually be a first stop, going to the American Chamber of Commerce, going to the U.S. Embassy, get the lay of the land, see how we could provide assistance.
[01:43:30.920 - 01:44:18.560]
Steve Castor
And was that source of frustration ever expressed to you, or did you just learn that separately?
[01:44:18.560 - 01:44:23.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
Source of frustration?
[01:44:23.440 - 01:44:26.600]
Steve Castor
Right.
[01:44:26.600 - 01:44:26.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
What do you mean? On whose part?
[01:44:26.920 - 01:44:28.800]
Steve Castor
On Furman and Parnas.
[01:44:28.800 - 01:44:30.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
I don't know that they were frustrated. I mean, I -- I --
[01:44:30.320 - 01:44:33.920]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:44:33.920 - 01:44:34.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
Frustrated by what?
[01:44:34.560 - 01:44:36.800]
Steve Castor
Well, you mentioned that they were -- they had business interests, and I asked you whether they had been stymied by anything in particular that you had advocated for or you were a roadblock to them being successful, and I wondered if there was any connection.
[01:44:36.800 - 01:44:56.240]
Marie Yovanovitch
I had never met them. When I heard those names for the first time, which was in February 2019, I asked my team, the econ and the commercial sections are the ones who would usually meet with American businessmen and women, and nobody had -- had -- had heard of them. So all I can conclude is that it was the general, general U.S. policies that we were implementing --
[01:44:56.240 - 01:45:18.800]
Steve Castor
Okay.
[01:45:18.800 - 01:45:18.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
-- that might have been of concern to them.
[01:45:18.960 - 01:45:19.840]
Steve Castor
Okay. At any point did you ever try to reach out to the prosecutor general, Mr. Lutsenko, and find out why he was participating in this concerted campaign?
[01:45:19.840 - 01:45:31.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[01:45:31.480 - 01:45:31.920]
Steve Castor
Why didn't you do that?
[01:45:31.920 - 01:45:32.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
I didn't feel that there was any purpose to it.
[01:45:32.960 - 01:45:35.560]
Steve Castor
Why not?
[01:45:35.560 - 01:45:36.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
He is -- he clearly had, I would say, a -- an animus for doing this, and he was working with Americans, so I reached out to the American side, in this case the State Department, to try and find out what was going on.
[01:45:36.200 - 01:45:48.440]
Steve Castor
When did you first realize that your relationship with Lutsenko had reached an adversarial point?
[01:45:48.440 - 01:45:55.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
Probably around that time, maybe a little bit earlier.
[01:45:55.960 - 01:45:59.640]
Steve Castor
And this is March?
[01:45:59.640 - 01:46:00.400]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah, and what I would say -- adversarial, that's a really strong word. We at the U.S. Embassy are visiting key people from the State Department and other agencies. We were pushing the Ukrainians, including Mr. Lutsenko, to do what they said that they were going to do when Mr. Lutsenko entered office, that he was going to clean up the PGO and make reforms, that he was going to bring justice to the, what they call the Heavenly Hundred, the people who died on the Maidan in 2016 -- 2014, the Revolution of Dignity.
[01:46:00.400 - 01:46:35.440]

And he was going to prosecute cases to repatriate the 40 -- approximately $40 billion it's believed that former President Yanukovych and his cronies fled the country with. And he didn't do any of that. And we, you know, kept on trying to encourage him to do the right thing. That's what the Ukrainian people wanted him to do, and we thought it was a good plan and that he should do it.
[01:46:35.440 - 01:47:03.120]
Steve Castor
Okay. And then you mentioned you contacted the State Department in late March. Was that under Secretary Hale?
[01:47:03.120 - 01:47:06.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
So contacted about what?
[01:47:06.480 - 01:47:08.720]
Steve Castor
About the concerns you had about the campaign against you.
[01:47:08.720 - 01:47:13.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
I contacted the State Department much earlier than that. I mean, it was an ongoing sort of -- discussion makes it sound very formal. We have many ways of going back and forth with Washington, and so, you know, on phone calls or [Inaudible], we would have this discussion.
[01:47:13.360 - 01:47:35.080]
Steve Castor
When did you realize --
[01:47:35.080 - 01:47:36.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
And if I could just amplify my answer, we had the discussion because we were concerned that Ukrainian policymakers, Ukrainian leaders, were hearing that, you know, I was going to be leaving, that, you know, there was maybe somebody else waiting in the wings, etc. And that undermined not only my position, but our U.S. position.
[01:47:36.520 - 01:48:06.400]

The Ukrainians didn't know what to think, and we need to be out there all the time, firing on all cylinders to promote our national security interests. So it was a concern.
[01:48:06.400 - 01:48:17.840]
Steve Castor
And when did you realize this concerted campaign against you was a real threat?
[01:48:17.840 - 01:48:20.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
A threat in --
[01:48:20.920 - 01:48:21.440]
Steve Castor
A threat to your ability to do the job in Kiev?
[01:48:21.440 - 01:48:26.880]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, I would say that the, you know, when you go into a meeting with somebody and they ask, are you going to be leaving, that is concerning. So that probably -- I don't know exactly when that started happening, but in that timeframe.
[01:48:26.880 - 01:48:47.360]
Steve Castor
And did you undertake any efforts to push back on this narrative, either inside the State Department or publicly? --
[01:48:47.360 - 01:48:56.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, certainly with the Ukrainians, I said, you know, there's nothing to this, this is, you know, a distraction and we are focused on -- on the job. Our policy remains the same. And yes, we had discussions in the State Department about this.
[01:48:56.440 - 01:49:11.040]
Steve Castor
In hindsight, the -- do you think you did inside the State Department to alert them to this -- this mounting campaign against you?
[01:49:11.040 - 01:49:19.840]
Marie Yovanovitch
I did what I could.
[01:49:19.840 - 01:49:21.000]
Steve Castor
And what was that?
[01:49:21.000 - 01:49:21.840]
Marie Yovanovitch
Reached out to the -- the European Bureau. I think you've also heard that Dr. Fiona Hill was aware of this as well, so the NFC and -- and they had other discussions with more senior people.
[01:49:21.840 - 01:49:38.200]
Steve Castor
Okay. Did you get any feedback from -- from your chain of command question mark I mean, did you engage Ambassador Volker and Undersecretary Hale?
[01:49:38.200 - 01:49:49.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes. Yes.
[01:49:49.360 - 01:49:49.920]
Steve Castor
And did you develop some sort of a game plan that pushed back against these allegations?
[01:49:49.920 - 01:49:53.040]
Marie Yovanovitch
So I mean, there are -- there are different time frames here that we're talking about. So fast forwarding to March, I did -- when Undersecretary Hale asked whether I would consider extending, I did raise because I wasn't sure that he was aware of it, I wanted to make sure that he knew that Mayor Giuliani had been out there saying things about me, untrue things, and I wanted him to be aware of that.
[01:49:53.040 - 01:50:14.960]

And he said, you know, he understood. He still was hoping that I could extend for another year. So that was early March, and then fast forward to -- to, you know, late March. And you know, the discussions about this issue continued, but obviously, it became -- once it became a public political story here in the United States, the tenor of everything changed because I think that the State Department felt that it wasn't manageable anymore and that the more prudent thing would be for me to come back in July.
[01:50:14.960 - 01:50:54.320]
Steve Castor
Do you think there's anything you could have done differently to get ahead of the story and to lobby the secretary and his counselor, Mr. Brechbuhl that -- that these -- there was a concerted campaign against you that you didn't believe the allegations lodged were accurate and you needed their assistance?
[01:50:54.320 - 01:51:12.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
I think that, sure, maybe I could have done that but I think they were aware and, as I subsequently learned from Deputy Secretary Sullivan, the Secretary of State had been well aware of this since the summer of 2018.
[01:51:12.200 - 01:51:29.280]
Steve Castor
The corruption is endemic in the country of the Ukraine, right?
[01:51:29.280 - 01:51:33.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
I would say that corruption is at serious issue everywhere in the former Soviet Union. It's a post-Soviet legacy and we talk about it a lot in the Ukraine because there's actually an opportunity to -- to do something, to actually help the Ukrainians tackle the issue. They want to tackle the issue. In other countries like Russia, you can't even talk about it. So I think it's a post-Soviet legacy and it's important to deal with it.
[01:51:33.160 - 01:52:07.160]
Steve Castor
And you testified rampant corruption has long permeated Ukraine's political and economic systems.
[01:52:07.160 - 01:52:14.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that's a fair statement.
[01:52:14.760 - 01:52:20.040]
Steve Castor
And it's your belief that it should be that U.S. foreign policy to help Ukraine curb its corruption problem?
[01:52:20.040 - 01:52:25.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes because it's good for the Ukrainians, but it's also an in our interest.
[01:52:25.080 - 01:52:30.640]
Steve Castor
And anticorruption efforts you mentioned serve eight national security purpose?
[01:52:30.640 - 01:52:37.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
I believe that to be true.
[01:52:37.160 - 01:52:38.360]
Steve Castor
Our oligarchs a big problem in the Ukraine?
[01:52:38.360 - 01:52:40.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
Probably. Because so much wealth is concentrated in the hands of a very, very six or seven few individuals and they also have political power and control the media.
[01:52:40.720 - 01:52:52.680]
Steve Castor
And a lot of their power has been acquired through what we here in the U.S. would consider an improperly -- improper ways?
[01:52:52.680 - 01:53:00.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah, I think that's a fair comment.
[01:53:00.440 - 01:53:02.200]
Steve Castor
The head of Burisma, Mr. Zlochevsky. Are you familiar with him?
[01:53:02.200 - 01:53:08.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
I don't know him but I know who you're talking about.
[01:53:08.080 - 01:53:12.720]
Steve Castor
You know, George Kent testified a couple of days ago that he was investigated for stealing millions and millions of dollars, some of which had been supplied by the U.S., Great Britain subject to an investigation trying to get the money back. That was a big part of Mr. Kent's initiative when he was -- when he was there that a bride was paid to the prosecutors and Zlochevsky was let off the hook.
[01:53:12.720 - 01:53:40.520]

This was in 2014. Is this something that you're familiar with?
[01:53:40.520 - 01:53:42.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
I've heard about it. This was before my arrival, and I would just save my understanding, but please correct me if I'm wrong, is that the U.S. money that you're referring to was the money that we -- that we used to fund an FBI team that was embedded with the prosecutor general's office to go after, not to go after, but he couldn't do the investigation of Burisma and as Zlochevsky.
[01:53:42.560 - 01:53:57.480]
Steve Castor
Mr. Kent testified that this bride was paid, that prosecution went away and, you know, essentially nothing has been further done with regards to Burisma. It is, you know, during your tenure in Ukraine, has -- has there ever been any focus on re-examining allegations, whether it's at Burisma or other powerful interests like Zlochevsky, re-examining it?
[01:53:57.480 - 01:54:27.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
Is that on -- on the part of the Ukrainian government, is that which talking about?
[01:54:27.960 - 01:54:31.320]
Steve Castor
Yeah. Trying to lean on the -- on the various prosecutors in general to clean up the oligarchical system.
[01:54:31.320 - 01:54:37.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
I think yes, there have been some -- some efforts and, as I've mentioned earlier in my testimony, the U.S. was welcoming of Mr. Lutsenko's nomination to the position of prosecutor general because we were hoping he would clean that up. That in fact is not what happened. And because, you know, it's kind of hard to explain to a U.S. audience, but in Ukraine, and in the formal former Soviet Union more broadly, including in Russia, justice -- the justice system, whether it's the, whether it's, you know, cops on the beat, whether it's investigators, whether it is prosecutors, whether it is judges are used as a tool of the political system to be used against your political adversaries.
[01:54:37.160 - 01:55:32.480]

And so I think that, going back to your question about Burisma and Zlochevsky, my understanding, this was as I told you earlier in the previous deposition, this did not loom large when I arrived. I arrived in 2016, August 2016, but over time, and my understanding was that the -- that the case was basically sort of on pause, that it was -- it wasn't an active case, but it also was not fully closed, and that is a way, as I mentioned before, for those in power to keep a little hook in to Burisma and Mr. is Zlochevsky.
[01:55:32.480 - 01:56:16.240]
Steve Castor
And right around the time of the bride was paid, Burisma undertook an effort to spruce up their board and they added, I believe, the president of Poland and some other luminaries. Are you familiar with that?
[01:56:16.240 - 01:56:33.400]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah, I don't know exactly know what the timing of all of this was. But yes, I mean, to the elements.
[01:56:33.400 - 01:56:38.120]
Steve Castor
And you know, one of the folks they added to the board was the vice president's son, Hunter Biden, which, you know, raises question is he a genius on the corporate governance front, is he a genius with the Ukrainian oligarchical systems in cleaning that up, or was he just added to the board because ease by the Vice President's son.
[01:56:38.120 - 01:57:00.960]

Was that ever, you know, a concern or at least the perception of that concern addressed?
[01:57:00.960 - 01:57:06.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
As I said, I arrived in August 2016. You know, several months before the elections and several months before resident Trump took office. And it was not a focus of what I was doing and that six month period.
[01:57:06.160 - 01:57:18.400]
Steve Castor
Was the issue ever raised at all?
[01:57:18.400 - 01:57:19.280]
Marie Yovanovitch
You know, not -- not --
[01:57:19.280 - 01:57:22.800]
Steve Castor
He was still on the board, I think, at the time.
[01:57:22.800 - 01:57:25.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah, my understanding from newspaper accounts is that he just recently left in 2019. I never met him, I never talk to him, and I'm sorry, what was your question?
[01:57:25.720 - 01:57:33.280]
Steve Castor
He was still on the board when you arrived at post and I was just wondering if at least the perception problem was -- was brought to your attention as the ambassador.
[01:57:33.280 - 01:57:44.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
We -- I was aware of it because, as I told you before, in the deposition there had been a -- in terms of the preparation for my Senate confirmation hearings for Ukraine, there was a question about that and eight select answer. So I was aware of it, yes.
[01:57:44.760 - 01:57:59.480]
Steve Castor
In -- in your deposition, you -- you acknowledged that the president has long-standing concerns about corruption in Ukraine. Is that true?
[01:57:59.480 - 01:58:06.120]
Marie Yovanovitch
That's -- that's -- that's what he says.
[01:58:06.120 - 01:58:08.760]
Steve Castor
Well, going back to -- there was a -- a meeting with President Poroshenko in September 2017 in the Oval Office. And I believe you testified that, you know, he expressed his concerns then.
[01:58:08.760 - 01:58:23.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah. He said that a friend of his had told him that Ukraine was the most corrupt country in the world.
[01:58:23.360 - 01:58:30.640]
Steve Castor
Okay. Several witnesses have testified that the president has concerns that there are certain elements of the Ukrainian establishment that, during 2016, were out to get him. Is that something you are aware of at any point in time?
[01:58:30.640 - 01:58:49.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, I'm certainly aware of that now. Obviously, there's been a lot of press attention on that. It was not -- it was not brought to my attention during the two and a half years that I served under President Trump as our ambassador to Ukraine.
[01:58:49.720 - 01:59:07.560]
Steve Castor
We've gone through the deposition, some of these -- these elements that -- you know, maybe they loom larger now. But, you know, in hindsight, was there any discussion at the embassy that there is these indications of some Ukrainians trying to, you know, at least advocate against then candidate Trump?
[01:59:07.560 - 01:59:26.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
Actually, there weren't. I mean, we -- we didn't really see it that way.
[01:59:26.200 - 01:59:31.240]
Steve Castor
And were you aware of -- I know Mr. Nunes mentioned this earlier, the -- the consultant, Alexandra Chalupa, had reportedly, at least according to her and according to, you know, Ken Vogel at the Politico, was trying to work with the Ukrainian Embassy in DC to, you know, trade information, share leads, of that sort -- sort of thing?
[01:59:31.240 - 01:59:54.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
I saw the article. I, you know, didn't have any further information about that.
[01:59:54.480 - 02:00:02.120]
Steve Castor
And did you see the article at the time, or did you only -- did that only come to your attention subsequently?
[02:00:02.120 - 02:00:08.040]
Marie Yovanovitch
It's certainly been brought to my attention subsequently. I think I did see something to that effect of the time as well.
[02:00:08.040 - 02:00:12.320]
Steve Castor
And -- and, you know, you're the ambassador in country at this point. Did -- did you aim to get to the bottom of that? Because, you know, if true, if the reporting's true, if what Ms. Chalupa told Mr. Vogel is accurate, that would be concerning, correct?
[02:00:12.320 - 02:00:28.240]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, I -- I was the ambassador in Ukraine starting in August 2016. And what you're describing -- if -- if true as -- as you said, what you're describing took place in the United States. So, if there were concerns about what Ms. Chalupa was doing, I think that that would have been handled here.
[02:00:28.240 - 02:00:46.280]
Steve Castor
And -- and do you know Ms. Chalupa?
[02:00:46.280 - 02:00:51.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
I don't believe so.
[02:00:51.760 - 02:00:52.560]
Steve Castor
Have you ever met her?
[02:00:52.560 - 02:00:53.000]
Marie Yovanovitch
I -- I don't think so. I mean, if she worked for the Ukrainian Embassy, it's possible that I met her in a large group or something, but I don't --
[02:00:53.000 - 02:01:02.440]
Steve Castor
Okay --
[02:01:02.440 - 02:01:02.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
I don't believe I know her.
[02:01:02.960 - 02:01:05.160]
Steve Castor
Are you aware of the role that investigative journalist, Mr. Leshchenko, played in publicizing the -- the Manafort black ledgers?
[02:01:05.160 - 02:01:10.000]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:01:10.000 - 02:01:11.000]
Steve Castor
And he publicized some information in a petty -- pretty grand way in August 2016. It almost immediately coincided with Mr. Manafort leaving the Trump campaign. Was there anything about that issue when it was occurring that concerned you?
[02:01:11.000 - 02:01:25.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, I certainly noticed it because I was, you know, a week or so away from arriving in Ukraine. I think that from a Ukrainian perspective -- I realize we are looking at this from an American perspective. From a Ukrainian perspective, I think that what Mr. Leshchenko and others who were looking into the black ledger were most concerned about was actually not Mr. Manafort, but former president Yanukovych and his political party and the amount of money that they allegedly stole and where it went and so forth.
[02:01:25.360 - 02:01:56.760]

I -- I mean, I think there's just a difference in perspective depending on which country you're in.
[02:01:56.760 - 02:02:02.880]
Steve Castor
But you can understand the president, at least from his perspective, looking at these facts. It certainly is reasonable to conclude that there are elements of the Ukrainian establishment that are -- are advocating against him at this point in time, correct?
[02:02:02.880 - 02:02:22.040]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, you know, just speaking about Mr. Leshchenko, he is an investigative journalist, as you said, and he got access to the black ledger and he published -- you published it, as I think journalists would do. And again, I -- I'm not sure that that -- I don't have any information to suggest that that was being -- that was targeting President Trump.
[02:02:22.040 - 02:02:49.720]
Steve Castor
But the way the events unfolded, I mean, Mr. Manafort was -- you know, subsequently left the campaign, and it -- it certainly did begin a period of interest in, you know, Manafort's ties to -- to Russia and so forth.
[02:02:49.720 - 02:03:02.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
I think -- again, I think that that may have been the effect here in the United States. And obviously, it was of interest to journalists and others here that Mr. Manafort was a former President Yanukovych's political advisor, and he was the political advisor, head of the campaign, here. And so, we all know that there have been court cases and so forth where Mr. Manafort was found guilty of certain actions.
[02:03:02.720 - 02:03:41.920]

But at the end of the day, President Trump won the elections.
[02:03:41.920 - 02:03:48.280]
Steve Castor
With Mr. Leshchenko's reporting, I mean, there -- there has been a question of whether all the information that he -- he published was authentic, correct?
[02:03:48.280 - 02:03:58.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
I'm sorry. Could you repeat that?
[02:03:58.160 - 02:04:01.360]
Steve Castor
There's been a -- some have questioned whether the information Mr. Leshchenko published was all correct or whether it was doctored.
[02:04:01.360 - 02:04:12.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
Okay. I wasn't aware of that, no.
[02:04:12.920 - 02:04:17.720]
Steve Castor
Okay. You know, Ambassador Chaly, during the August timeframe, he wrote an op-ed in The Hill taking issue with then candidate Trump. Were you aware of that when it occurred?
[02:04:17.720 - 02:04:28.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:04:28.080 - 02:04:28.360]
Steve Castor
And did you have any communications with the ambassador to express concerns?
[02:04:28.360 - 02:04:34.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[02:04:34.560 - 02:04:35.000]
Steve Castor
And how frequently did you communicate with -- with the ambassador? Obviously, you're in different posts in different countries, but --
[02:04:35.000 - 02:04:50.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah, didn't actually see him or talk to him that often.
[02:04:50.520 - 02:04:58.040]
Steve Castor
So, you -- you weren't in frequent communication?
[02:04:58.040 - 02:05:00.400]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[02:05:00.400 - 02:05:00.880]
Steve Castor
Can -- can you see how, you know, writing an op-ed, even -- you know, given the substance, you know, we've discussed the substance of it, that there is -- there's sensitivities. But can you see how just the -- the simple fact of writing an op-ed, the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. might create a perception that there are elements of the Ukrainian establishment that were advocating against then candidate Trump?
[02:05:00.880 - 02:05:31.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
My recollection of the -- of that op-ed was that he was taking a -- he was critical of a policy position that President Trump had with regard to Crimea, and whether Crimea was, you know, a part of Ukraine or a part of Russia. That's a tremendously sensitive issue in Ukraine, and my recollection is that that is what Ambassador Chaly was writing about.
[02:05:31.160 - 02:05:55.200]
Steve Castor
And -- and do you know whether the ambassador for anybody from the embassy tried to make contact with the Trump camp to talk about their concerns before lodging an op-ed?
[02:05:55.200 - 02:06:11.800]
Marie Yovanovitch
I don't know.
[02:06:11.800 - 02:06:12.560]
Steve Castor
Okay. And during the -- the same time period of the run up to the election, the -- Minister Avakov had said some especially candid things about then candidate Trump on -- on some -- various social media platforms. Are you aware of that?
[02:06:12.560 - 02:06:28.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, as a result of the deposition --
[02:06:28.360 - 02:06:30.360]
Steve Castor
Okay --
[02:06:30.360 - 02:06:31.800]
Marie Yovanovitch
The previous deposition.
[02:06:31.800 - 02:06:33.040]
Steve Castor
But -- but -- but during the relevant time period when it was happening, you -- you weren't aware of that?
[02:06:33.040 - 02:06:39.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
I -- you know, I -- I don't recall it.
[02:06:39.360 - 02:06:41.160]
Steve Castor
Okay. He -- he's one of the more influential officials in the Ukraine, correct?
[02:06:41.160 - 02:06:45.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
He is.
[02:06:45.080 - 02:06:46.360]
Steve Castor
And I believe he's one of the few that span both the Poroshenko administration and the Zelensky administration.
[02:06:46.360 - 02:06:55.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that's correct.
[02:06:55.320 - 02:06:56.320]
Steve Castor
Look -- looking back on his comments in hindsight, do you see how that might create a perception that a very influential Ukrainian was -- was, you know, advocating against then candidate Trump?
[02:06:56.320 - 02:07:14.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
That he was doing what? I'm sorry.
[02:07:14.360 - 02:07:17.440]
Steve Castor
Just advocating -- he was -- he was out to get him. I mean, he was -- he was -- he said some real nasty things.
[02:07:17.440 - 02:07:23.600]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, you know, sometimes that happens on social media. And I -- you know, are you asking me whether it's appropriate? Probably not. But I would say that Minister Avakov has been, as well as others both in President Poroshenko's administration as well as in the Zelensky administration, has been a good partner to the United States.
[02:07:23.600 - 02:07:42.760]

As I think I told you before, he's a very practical man and looking for partners and getting the job done.
[02:07:42.760 - 02:07:48.040]
Steve Castor
I'm -- I'm shocked that social media would be the site of negative comments. --
[02:07:48.040 - 02:07:52.040]

The -- you certainly can understand that they President aware of Minister Avakov statements, aware of what Mr. Lutsenko was up to, what Ambassador Chaly was up to and these other elements that we have discussed them there are certainly forms a reasonable basis to wonder whether there are influential you know elements of the Ukrainian establishment that were out to get the President.
[02:07:52.040 - 02:08:15.000]
Marie Yovanovitch
I -- you know again I mean I can't speak for what President Trump thought or what others thought I would just say that those elements that you have recited don't seem to me to be the Ukrainian kind of plan or a plot of the Ukrainian government to work against President Trump or -- or -- or anyone else. I mean they are isolated incidents.
[02:08:15.000 - 02:08:34.040]

We all know I am coming to find out myself that public life can be -- you know, people are critical and that does not mean that someone is or a government is undermining either a campaign or interfering in elections and I would just reminded again that our own U.S. intelligence community has conclusively determined that the -- those who interfered in the election were in Russia.
[02:08:34.040 - 02:08:52.000]
Steve Castor
You -- you know turn our attention to ambassador Volker he's -- he has been a friend and colleague of yours for many years. Is that correct?
[02:08:52.000 - 02:08:58.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that is true.
[02:08:58.080 - 02:08:59.240]
Steve Castor
And I believe you testified he is a man of honor.
[02:08:59.240 - 02:09:00.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
I believe that to be true.
[02:09:00.680 - 02:09:02.880]
Steve Castor
And a brilliant diplomat?
[02:09:02.880 - 02:09:03.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:09:03.440 - 02:09:04.720]
Steve Castor
And you have no reason to think that he would be an undertaking in initiative that was counter to U.S. interest?
[02:09:04.720 - 02:09:12.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
I think he tried to do what he thought was right.
[02:09:12.720 - 02:09:19.960]
Steve Castor
The -- turning our attention to the Trump administration's policy of aid, the aid package to Ukraine you -- you have testified that during your tenure as ambassador America's policy actually got stronger towards the Ukraine. Is that accurate?
[02:09:19.960 - 02:09:31.880]
Marie Yovanovitch
With the provision of javelins to the Ukrainian military yes, that was -- that was really positive.
[02:09:31.880 - 02:09:35.760]
Steve Castor
And why was that important?
[02:09:35.760 - 02:09:37.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
Two things. They are obviously tank busters and so if the war with Russia all of the sudden accelerated in some way and tanks come over the horizon javelins are a very serious weapon to deal with that. That is number one. But really the more important issue is the symbol -- symbolism of it, that the United States is providing javelins to Ukraine.
[02:09:37.520 - 02:10:02.280]

That makes Ukraine's adversaries think twice.
[02:10:02.280 - 02:10:09.880]
Steve Castor
And the provision of javelins to Ukraine was -- was blocked during the previous administration. Is that correct?
[02:10:09.880 - 02:10:23.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
I think they made a determination. I was not a part of those discussions but obviously they had not yet made a determination about whether to provide javelins.
[02:10:23.560 - 02:10:39.040]
Steve Castor
But do you have any -- in a -- in the understanding of what the inner agency consensus was with regard to javelins during the previous administration?
[02:10:39.040 - 02:10:47.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
I think that most in the interagency wanted to provide javelins to Ukraine.
[02:10:47.440 - 02:10:54.360]
Steve Castor
And so in the new administration under President Trump the ability to afford Ukraine this weaponry is significant advantage, significant step forward?
[02:10:54.360 - 02:11:08.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
We thought it was important.
[02:11:08.480 - 02:11:10.840]
Steve Castor
Has it played out that way?
[02:11:10.840 - 02:11:12.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, it -- it has because --
[02:11:12.560 - 02:11:15.600]
Steve Castor
Provision of javelins.
[02:11:15.600 - 02:11:17.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
It is a symbol of our strong support for Ukraine but when then you know this year there are questions as to whether or not our security assistance is going to go through that kind of undermines that strong message of support.
[02:11:17.360 - 02:11:29.160]
Steve Castor
The -- Ukraine still has the ability to acquire the javelins though, correct?
[02:11:29.160 - 02:11:34.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
Our -- are you now talking about purchasing javelins?
[02:11:34.680 - 02:11:41.480]
Steve Castor
Pur -- purchasing --
[02:11:41.480 - 02:11:42.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
By the Ukrainian government?
[02:11:42.920 - 02:11:46.240]
Steve Castor
Yes.
[02:11:46.240 - 02:11:46.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, I do. That is my understanding [Inaudible].
[02:11:46.920 - 02:11:50.080]
Steve Castor
And these securities sector assistance did go through. It was paused for 55 days from July 18 to September 11 but it ultimately went through, correct?
[02:11:50.080 - 02:12:04.280]
Marie Yovanovitch
That is my understanding.
[02:12:04.280 - 02:12:06.360]
Steve Castor
Okay. You testified during your deposition that you were -- you were proud of the efforts of the United States during your tenure to you know supplied this type of aid to Ukraine. Do you still -- are you still happy with -- with the decisions?
[02:12:06.360 - 02:12:22.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
Are you talking about the javelin?
[02:12:22.440 - 02:12:25.520]
Steve Castor
The javelin and also the - maybe just the whole aid package.
[02:12:25.520 - 02:12:31.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:12:31.920 - 02:12:32.720]
Steve Castor
Do you think it is sufficient? Do you think we are giving the Ukraine enough money?
[02:12:32.720 - 02:12:37.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
That's a hard question because one can always use additional funding. That said my things that the Congress has been very generous in voting for security assistance and other forms of assistance for Ukraine.
[02:12:37.560 - 02:12:57.480]
Steve Castor
My time is coming to an end. Mr. Chairman?
[02:12:57.480 - 02:13:00.560]
Adam B. Schiff
I thank the gentleman. We will now go to member five-minute rounds. I recognize myself for five minutes. Ambassador Yovanovitch I want to follow up on some of the questions from my colleagues. Some of the early questions seem to suggest that your testimony here was completely irrelevant to the issues at hand.
[02:13:00.560 - 02:13:27.960]

Why are you even here? Isn't this just some small matter that shouldn't have been referred to HR? So I want to bring our attention to someone who thought you were actually very important to this whole plot or scheme and that is the President of the United States. There was only ambassador I believe who is discussed by the President in the July 25 call and that was you, ambassador Yovanovitch.
[02:13:27.960 - 02:14:06.040]

And I want to refer back to hell you were brought up in the conversation. At one point during the conversation the President brings up this prosecutor who was very good and it was shut down and that is really unfair and I think you indicated earlier that that was a likely reference to Mr. Lutsenko, the [Inaudible] prosecutor.
[02:14:06.040 - 02:14:25.640]

Is that right?
[02:14:25.640 - 02:14:27.280]
Marie Yovanovitch
I believe that is the case but I don't know.
[02:14:27.280 - 02:14:30.520]
Adam B. Schiff
So that immediately after the President brings up this corrupt former prosecutor only one -- I am sorry my staff has corrected me, only one of American ambassador is brought up in the call. A immediately after the President brings up this corrupt prosecutor that he praises and says he was treated very unfairly he then encourages Zelensky to speak with Giuliani, the guy who orchestrated the smear campaign against you, correct?
[02:14:30.520 - 02:14:54.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:14:54.960 - 02:14:56.880]
Adam B. Schiff
And he then brings you up. So he praises the corrupt prosecutor, he says I want you to talk to Giuliani the guy who is smearing you and then he brings you up. He obviously thought you were relevant to this but what is even more telling is a immediately after he brings you up and says that you, the woman was bad news he says there's a lot I -- there is a lot to talk about -- about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.
[02:14:56.880 - 02:15:26.560]

A immediately after praising this corrupt prosecutor he attacks you and then he goes right to Biden. That would indicate to you with it ambassador that he connects you somehow with this prosecutor you were at odds with and his desire to see this investigation of Biden go forward would it not?
[02:15:26.560 - 02:15:46.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
Again you are absolutely right that that is the thought progression.
[02:15:46.520 - 02:15:53.800]
Adam B. Schiff
My colleagues also asked in pushing you out of the way ultimately Ambassador Taylor got appointed. Is ambassador Taylor the kind of person that would further Giuliani's aims. I think we can all agree that ambassador Taylor is a remarkable public servant.
[02:15:53.800 - 02:16:21.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
Absolutely.
[02:16:21.200 - 02:16:22.320]
Adam B. Schiff
But what if the President could put someone else in place that wasn't a career diplomat, what if he could put in place say a substantial donor to his inaugural? What if he could put in place someone with no diplomatic experience at all? What if he could put in place someone who's portfolio doesn't even include Ukraine?
[02:16:22.320 - 02:16:57.160]

Might that person be willing to work with Rudy Giuliani in pursuit of these investigations?
[02:16:57.160 - 02:17:00.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, maybe.
[02:17:00.960 - 02:17:02.480]
Adam B. Schiff
That is exactly what happened wasn't it?
[02:17:02.480 - 02:17:07.880]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:17:07.880 - 02:17:08.800]
Adam B. Schiff
My colleagues also say well, the security assistance ultimately went through so if they sought to condition or bribe the Ukraine into doing these investigations withholding security assistance they ultimately paid them money. Are you aware ambassador that the security assistance was not released until after a whistleblower complaint made its way to the White House?
[02:17:08.800 - 02:17:46.120]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, I am aware of that.
[02:17:46.120 - 02:17:48.360]
Adam B. Schiff
Are you aware that it was not released until Congress announced it was doing an investigation?
[02:17:48.360 - 02:17:53.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, I am aware of that.
[02:17:53.760 - 02:17:55.600]
Adam B. Schiff
And finally I want to ask you about the call record that my colleague read at the outset. -- And just for people watching at home so they're not confused, there are two calls here. There's the perfunctory congratulatory call after Zelensky is inaugurated, which my ranking member read this morning, and then there's, of course, the very problematic call in July.
[02:17:55.600 - 02:18:21.040]

And one of the reasons we are here is what happened between April and July. But there was a readout put out by the White House at the time the April congratulatory call was made, and the White House readout said that the president discussed with Zelensky helping Ukraine root out corruption. Now that, in fact, doesn't appear anywhere in that call.
[02:18:21.040 - 02:18:39.880]

So I wanted to ask you, Ambassador, why would the White House put out an inaccurate reading? Why would the White House represent that the president said something about corruption when he said nothing about corruption in that call or, in fact, in the one in July?
[02:18:39.880 - 02:18:56.240]
Marie Yovanovitch
I -- I can't answer that question. I don't have visibility into that.
[02:18:56.240 - 02:18:58.640]
Adam B. Schiff
I thank you. I yield five minutes now to recognize the ranking member.
[02:18:58.640 - 02:19:03.520]
Devin Nunes
I just remind the gentleman there's actually three calls. There's the two calls with President Trump and the one that you reiterated in our last hearing a couple weeks ago. Ambassador, I just want to clarify something before I yield. Are you against political appointed ambassadors? Is it not the president's prerogative to appoint whoever he wants in any country?
[02:19:03.520 - 02:19:38.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
First of all, I am not against political ambassadors, just to be clear.
[02:19:38.680 - 02:19:46.760]
Devin Nunes
I just wanted -- I just wanted to clear that up. Now can I yield to Ms. Stefanik? Do I need your permission?
[02:19:46.760 - 02:20:01.720]
Adam B. Schiff
You may yield.
[02:20:01.720 - 02:20:03.800]
Devin Nunes
Ms. Stefanik.
[02:20:03.800 - 02:20:04.440]
Elise M. Stefanik
Thank you. Ambassador, before I was interrupted I wanted to thank you for your 30 years of public service, from Mogadishu, to Ottawa, to Moscow, to London, to Kiev. I also wanted to thank you for hosting the numerous bipartisan delegations. I led one of those delegations in Ukraine. My questions today will focus on three key themes.
[02:20:04.440 - 02:20:33.120]

The first is the role of the president when it comes to appointing our ambassadors. The second is long-standing corruption in Ukraine. And the third is aid to Ukraine. Earlier this week, as you know, we heard from George Kent. And I know that Mr. Kent is a colleague, a friend and someone who you deeply respect.
[02:20:33.120 - 02:20:53.960]

In his testimony he stated all ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the president. You would agree with that statement, correct?
[02:20:53.960 - 02:21:00.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:21:00.480 - 02:21:00.880]
Elise M. Stefanik
And, in fact, he elaborated and went on to emphasize that this is without question; everybody understands that. You would agree with that?
[02:21:00.880 - 02:21:08.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
I would agree with that.
[02:21:08.560 - 02:21:09.840]
Elise M. Stefanik
And in your deposition under oath you stated, quote, although I understand -- everyone understands that I serve at the pleasure of the president. Is that correct?
[02:21:09.840 - 02:21:26.000]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:21:26.000 - 02:21:26.360]
Elise M. Stefanik
And just so there's no public confusion, you are still an employee of the State Department, correct?
[02:21:26.360 - 02:21:33.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:21:33.960 - 02:21:34.360]
Elise M. Stefanik
And in the deposition you say that you personally asked whether it would be possible to be a fellow at Georgetown University, and that was arranged for me, and I'm very grateful. That's where you're posted today, correct?
[02:21:34.360 - 02:21:50.000]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:21:50.000 - 02:21:50.880]
Elise M. Stefanik
Georgetown students are lucky to have you. We are lucky to have you in Foreign Service, and I again want to thank you for your tremendous public service. Shifting gears to corruption in Ukraine, in your powerful deposition you described, quote, we have long understood that strong anticorruption efforts must form an essential part of our policy in Ukraine, and now there is a window of opportunity to do that.
[02:21:50.880 - 02:22:24.200]

And so why is this important, and why is this important to us? Put simply, anticorruption efforts serve Ukraine's interests, but they also serve ours, as well. Is that still your testimony?
[02:22:24.200 - 02:22:38.800]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:22:38.800 - 02:22:39.320]
Elise M. Stefanik
And particularly at the critical time in 2014 after the Ukrainian elections you testified that the Ukrainian people had made clear in that very election that they were done with corruption, correct?
[02:22:39.320 - 02:22:48.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:22:48.520 - 02:22:50.040]
Elise M. Stefanik
And you also testified that the Ukrainians thought it would be a good idea to set up this architecture of a special investigative office that would be all about the crimes of corruption, correct?
[02:22:50.040 - 02:23:03.240]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:23:03.240 - 02:23:03.880]
Elise M. Stefanik
And I know this was before you arrived in Ukraine, but you are aware that the first case that the U.S., UK and Ukraine investigators worked on was, in fact, against the owner of Burisma?
[02:23:03.880 - 02:23:19.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:23:19.680 - 02:23:20.360]
Elise M. Stefanik
And that was during the Obama administration?
[02:23:20.360 - 02:23:22.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:23:22.360 - 02:23:25.080]
Elise M. Stefanik
And in your testimony you -- and you said today the investigation was never formally closed because, quote, it's frankly useful to keep that company hanging on a hook, right? That's your quote.
[02:23:25.080 - 02:23:36.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah, the Ukrainian investigation was never closed.
[02:23:36.920 - 02:23:40.120]
Elise M. Stefanik
Partnered with the U.S. and the UK?
[02:23:40.120 - 02:23:43.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
As I understand it. Yeah, although because we didn't see the Ukrainians moving forward on that, we no longer partner with them on that case or in that way.
[02:23:43.440 - 02:23:54.680]
Elise M. Stefanik
But let's take a first step -- a step back. The first time you personally became aware of Burisma was actually when you were being prepared by the Obama State Department for your Senate confirmation hearings, and this was in the form of practice questions and answers. This was your deposition. And you testify that in this particular practice Q&A with the Obama State Department, it wasn't just generally about Burisma and corruption; it was specifically about Hunter Biden and Burisma.
[02:23:54.680 - 02:24:17.160]

Is that correct?
[02:24:17.160 - 02:24:18.040]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes it is.
[02:24:18.040 - 02:24:18.960]
Elise M. Stefanik
And the exact quote from your testimony, Ambassador, is, quote, the way the question was phrased in this model Q&A was, what can you tell us about Hunter Biden's, you know, being named to the board of Burisma? So for the millions of Americans watching, President Obama's own State Department was so concerned about potential conflicts of interest from Hunter Biden's role at Burisma that they raised it themselves while prepping this wonderful ambassador nominee before her confirmation.
[02:24:18.960 - 02:24:48.800]

And yet our Democratic colleagues and the chairman of this committee cry foul when we dare ask that same question that the Obama State Department was so concerned about. But we will continue asking it. And lastly, in my 20 seconds left I just want to get it on record, in terms of defensive lethal aid, which you were an advocate for, that was not provided by President Obama; it was provided by President Trump?
[02:24:48.800 - 02:25:17.600]
Marie Yovanovitch
That's correct.
[02:25:17.600 - 02:25:18.440]
Elise M. Stefanik
I yield back five seconds.
[02:25:18.440 - 02:25:20.160]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Himes, you're recognized.
[02:25:20.160 - 02:25:22.320]
James A. Himes
Ambassador, thank you for your testimony today. Those of us who sit up here are supposed to be dispassionate, and judicial and measured, but I'm angry, and I've been angry since I learned about your summary and unexplained dismissal after a lifetime of excellent and faithful service to this country. I'm angry that a woman whose family fled communism and Nazism, who served this country beautifully for 33 years, not in Paris or in Rome, but literally under fire in places like Mogadishu and Kiev.
[02:25:22.320 - 02:25:48.080]

I'm angry that a woman like you would be not just dismissed, but humiliated and attacked by the president of the United States. And I'm not just angry for you. I'm angry for every single Foreign Service Officer, for every single military officer, for every intelligence officer who right now might believe that a lifetime of service, and sacrifice, and excellence might be ignored by the president of the United States, or worse yet, attacked in language that would embarrass a mob boss.
[02:25:48.080 - 02:26:15.080]

Now it's the president's defense, and it's emerging from my Republican colleagues today, that this is all okay because, as the president so memorably put it in his tweet this morning, it is a U.S. president's absolute right to appoint ambassadors. I'm a little troubled by this idea of an absolute right because that doesn't feel to me like the system of government we have here.
[02:26:15.080 - 02:26:37.480]

I think that how and why we exercise our powers and rights matters. Ambassador, when you are ambassador somewhere do you have the right to ask the intelligence community, the CIA in an embassy what operations they're doing?
[02:26:37.480 - 02:26:51.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
We talk about these things collaboratively. There are some things that -- in short, yes.
[02:26:51.680 - 02:26:57.920]
James A. Himes
So you have the right to ask the intelligence community in your embassy what they're doing. Why might you do that?
[02:26:57.920 - 02:27:04.800]
Marie Yovanovitch
Because sometimes operations have political consequences.
[02:27:04.800 - 02:27:08.120]
James A. Himes
Right, so the performance of your duties in the interests of the United States gives you the right to ask very sensitive questions of our intelligence community in your embassy. But what if instead of working through the issues that you just described you went to dinner that night and handed over that information to a Russian agent for $10,000? Would that be an appropriate exercise of your right?
[02:27:08.120 - 02:27:32.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
No, it would not.
[02:27:32.160 - 02:27:33.880]
James A. Himes
It would not. And what would happen to you if you did that?
[02:27:33.880 - 02:27:38.400]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, I can't even begin to imagine, but I would imagine that I would be pulled out of post.
[02:27:38.400 - 02:27:44.680]
James A. Himes
Right. And this is -- this is not about ambassadors, right? A police officer has the right to pull you over. But if the police officer pulls over his ex-wife because he's angry, that's probably not right. I have the right -- in fact, today I cast a bunch of votes, but if I cast those votes not in the interest of my constituents but because somebody bribed me, that is a severe abuse of my power.
[02:27:44.680 - 02:28:10.640]

Wouldn't you agree?
[02:28:10.640 - 02:28:11.600]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:28:11.600 - 02:28:11.960]
James A. Himes
So I guess the question is, why after an exemplary performance as ambassador to Ukraine did the president decide that you should be removed? Because I think we just agreed that if that was not done in the national interest, that's a problem. Ambassador, if you had remained ambassador to Ukraine, would you have recommended to the president of the United States that he asked the new Ukrainian president to investigate -- and I'm quoting from the transcript here -- CrowdStrike or the server?
[02:28:11.960 - 02:28:43.840]
Marie Yovanovitch
No. I would repeat, once again, that the U.S. intelligence community has concluded that it was the Russians who interfered.
[02:28:43.840 - 02:28:50.920]
James A. Himes
Okay. So Ambassador, if you had remained as ambassador, not been summarily dismissed, would you have supported a three-month delay in congressionally-mandated military aid to Ukraine?
[02:28:50.920 - 02:28:59.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[02:28:59.440 - 02:28:59.640]
James A. Himes
Ambassador, if you had remained as ambassador of Ukraine, would you have recommended to the president that he ask a new president of Ukraine to, quote, find out about Biden's son?
[02:28:59.640 - 02:29:11.880]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[02:29:11.880 - 02:29:11.960]
James A. Himes
I have no more questions. I yield back the balance of my time. --
[02:29:11.960 - 02:29:14.800]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Conaway.
[02:29:14.800 - 02:29:16.440]
K. Michael Conaway
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to enter into the record dear colleague letter from speaker Pelosi dated September 23. Relevant part reads we expect -- we also expect that he will establish a path for the whistleblower to speak directly to the house and Senate intelligence committees as required by law.
[02:29:16.440 - 02:29:42.680]
Adam B. Schiff
Without objection.
[02:29:42.680 - 02:29:44.960]
K. Michael Conaway
Thank you. I look forward to you on rank that statement from the speaker. Turning this to the ambassador. Ambassador, I for one want to thank you so very much for a long service, exemplary service for -- to our country and on behalf of our nation. A lot has been said about what was going on around the phone call.
[02:29:44.960 - 02:30:06.600]

I'd like to focus more on what's happened since then to you and your career and -- and what's going on. So when you got the word -- anytime the ambassador changes post, there's a process you go through to depict what you do next, and that happened in this instance. Can you give us a quick statement as to how what happened when you -- when you came back here as to what your next assignment would be at state?
[02:30:06.600 - 02:30:46.040]
Marie Yovanovitch
So when I came back, obviously, it was sort of out of cycle. There was nothing set up. And again, I am grateful that Deputy Secretary Sullivan asked me what I would like to do next. I recall that there was the fellowship at Georgetown and asked whether that might be something that could be arranged.
[02:30:46.040 - 02:31:14.760]
K. Michael Conaway
Was not your only choice?
[02:31:14.760 - 02:31:16.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
I'm not sure. We didn't really do discuss other options.
[02:31:16.520 - 02:31:21.920]
K. Michael Conaway
My sense is Georgetown is a fertile ground for State Department recruitment future fledgling foreign service officers, and so they now benefit from your experience and your inspiration to -- to inspire them to have spent their life in service to our nation.
[02:31:21.920 - 02:31:38.240]
Marie Yovanovitch
Thank you.
[02:31:38.240 - 02:31:39.040]
K. Michael Conaway
You're a fellow there. You teach classes. How many classes are you teaching?
[02:31:39.040 - 02:31:50.200]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, this semester I was supposed to teach two. I am still teaching one on national security. The other one was on Ukraine and I asked whether I could, you know --
[02:31:50.200 - 02:32:02.960]
K. Michael Conaway
Defer that --
[02:32:02.960 - 02:32:03.400]
Marie Yovanovitch
Postpone that. That's inappropriate.
[02:32:03.400 - 02:32:09.240]
K. Michael Conaway
How many students in your class, approximately?
[02:32:09.240 - 02:32:14.560]

There are, let's see, I think 14 -- 14, 15.
[02:32:14.560 - 02:32:19.840]

Any other responsibilities at state other than the Fellowship at Georgetown?
[02:32:19.840 - 02:32:25.000]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, I will tell you that all of this has kept me very busy.
[02:32:25.000 - 02:32:31.040]
K. Michael Conaway
Okay, I got that. But -- but no necessarily day-to-day things that you will be response before?
[02:32:31.040 - 02:32:36.640]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[02:32:36.640 - 02:32:36.800]
K. Michael Conaway
Other than the -- other than not qualifying for overseas stipends and other things, is your compensation been affected? By being recalled the way you work?
[02:32:36.800 - 02:32:45.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
No, it has not.
[02:32:45.480 - 02:32:47.040]
K. Michael Conaway
Okay. I'm worried about the weight you might be treated by your fellow employees at state. Any -- any negative -- are they hold you in less high regard than they used to as a result of this? Do they shun you at the lunch counter question mark I mean, they treat you badly as a part -- as a result of the way you were treated by -- by the president?
[02:32:47.040 - 02:33:16.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
I've actually received an outpouring of support from my colleagues.
[02:33:16.680 - 02:33:21.160]
K. Michael Conaway
Okay, so the folks that you respect the most still respect you and -- and appear to hold you and I regard and high affection?
[02:33:21.160 - 02:33:29.840]
Marie Yovanovitch
They do.
[02:33:29.840 - 02:33:30.920]
K. Michael Conaway
Okay. George Kent was in here a couple of days ago and he made some exemplary statements about you. Really glowing. All of us I think would like to be the recipient of that worthy, and I think you are as well. Any -- any reason on earth that you can think of that George Kent would be saying that because of some reason other than the fact that he believes it in his heart of hearts?
[02:33:30.920 - 02:33:54.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
Like -- like what?
[02:33:54.160 - 02:33:55.680]
K. Michael Conaway
Well, I mean, like somebody paid him to do it.
[02:33:55.680 - 02:34:01.240]
Marie Yovanovitch
No, absolutely not.
[02:34:01.240 - 02:34:03.600]
K. Michael Conaway
Okay, so you and I agree that we think he was sincere and that -- and that bragging on you, and that's all opposed recall episode that -- that was much of the discussion this morning. Well, I'm glad that your colleagues -- I would have expected nothing any different from your colleagues at state to -- to continue to treat you with a high regard that you've earned over all these years of great service, and I hope that whatever you decide to do after the Georgetown fellowship that -- that you're as successful there as you been in the first 333 years.
[02:34:03.600 - 02:34:46.360]

With that, I yield the balance of my time to Mr. Jordan.
[02:34:46.360 - 02:34:49.440]
Michael R. Turner
I have a unanimous consent request that an article titled Whistleblower is Expected to Testify Soon, House Intelligent Chairman Schiff Says, Wall Street Journal September 29, 2019 being included in the record.
[02:34:49.440 - 02:35:09.560]
Adam B. Schiff
Without objection.
[02:35:09.560 - 02:35:11.000]
Michael R. Turner
I have a unanimous consent request that an article entitled Whistleblower Reaches Agreement to Testify, Will Appear Very Soon, Representative Adam Schiff Says, USA Today September 29, 2019.
[02:35:11.000 - 02:35:24.960]
Adam B. Schiff
Without objection.
[02:35:24.960 - 02:35:26.560]
Michael R. Turner
I have a unanimous consent request article entitled Schiff Confirms Tentative Agreement for Whistleblower to Testify Before House Intelligence Committee, CNN September 29, 2019.
[02:35:26.560 - 02:35:44.760]
Adam B. Schiff
Without objection.
[02:35:44.760 - 02:35:48.960]
Michael R. Turner
I have a unanimous consent request. Intelligence Panel Has Deal to Hear Whistleblowers Testimony, Says Schiff. Washington Post September 29, 2019.
[02:35:48.960 - 02:36:01.640]
Adam B. Schiff
Without objection.
[02:36:01.640 - 02:36:02.640]
Michael R. Turner
I have a unanimous consent request, an article entitled Whistleblower Reportedly Agrees to Testify Before House Intelligence Committee Reported By Schiff. Huffington Post September 29, 2019.
[02:36:02.640 - 02:36:20.440]
Adam B. Schiff
Without objection.
[02:36:20.440 - 02:36:22.160]
Michael R. Turner
I have a unanimous consent request. An article titled Schiff: Panel Will Hear Whistleblower. Arkansas Democrat Gazette September 29, 2019.
[02:36:22.160 - 02:36:35.200]
Adam B. Schiff
Without objection. The time of the gentleman has expired. I now recognize Ms. Sewell.
[02:36:35.200 - 02:36:43.800]
Terri A. Sewell
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ambassador, in your prior testimony, you spoke so movingly about your family background. You stated that your parents fled communist and Nazi regimes and that they valued freedom and democracy offered in America, having experienced totalitarian regimes. Did that have any effect on your desire to enter into the United States foreign service?
[02:36:43.800 - 02:37:03.640]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, it did.
[02:37:03.640 - 02:37:04.680]
Terri A. Sewell
Did you always know that you wanted to be in the foreign service? I look at your background and it is perfectly suited for what you're doing. I note that you have studied at the Pushkin state Russian language Institute in Russia to learn Russian, that you have eight -- do you also have an MS from the National Defense University, National war College?
[02:37:04.680 - 02:37:22.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:37:22.440 - 02:37:22.960]
Terri A. Sewell
I even -- I even noticed that you earned a -- your undergraduate degree in history and Russian studies in college and, coincidentally, that was also my college. But I wanted -- in Europe -- you definitely are doing Princeton and the nation's service by what you do every day. But I really want to know how it felt to have your reputation sullied not for state and nation, but for personal gain.
[02:37:22.960 - 02:37:47.400]

You spoke about how your service is not just your own personal service, it affects your family. And today, we've seen you as this former ambassador of this 33 year veteran of the foreign service, but I want to know about you personally and how this has affected you personally and your family.
[02:37:47.400 - 02:38:07.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
It's been a difficult time. I mean, I -- I'm a private person. I don't want to put all that out there, but it's been a very, very difficult time because the president does have the right to have his own or her ambassador in every country in the world, but --
[02:38:07.520 - 02:38:24.960]
Terri A. Sewell
But does the -- but does the president have the right to actually malign people's character? I mean, it may not be against any law, but I think would think it would be against decorum and decency.
[02:38:24.960 - 02:38:40.120]
Marie Yovanovitch
I mean, there's a question as to why the kind of campaign to get me out of Ukraine happened because all the president has to do is say he wants a different ambassador. And in my line of work, perhaps in your line of work as well, all we have is our reputation. And so this has been a very painful period.
[02:38:40.120 - 02:39:04.440]
Terri A. Sewell
How has it affected your family?
[02:39:04.440 - 02:39:07.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
I really don't want to get into that. But thank you for asking.
[02:39:07.920 - 02:39:13.520]
Terri A. Sewell
Okay. Because I do care. I also want to know how you think it affected your fellow colleagues in the foreign service. My Republican colleagues have said that since you received such adulation from and embracing from your own fellow colleagues that what occurred, the incident that occurred with the president and his cronies, you know, maligning your reputation, how -- has that had a chilling effect on the ability and the morale within the foreign service?
[02:39:13.520 - 02:39:47.880]

Can you speak to that?
[02:39:47.880 - 02:39:50.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah, I think that -- I think that it has had exactly that, a chilling effect not only in Embassy Kiev, but throughout the State Department. Because people don't know kind of whether their efforts to pursue our stated policy are going to be supported, and that is a -- that is a dangerous place to be.
[02:39:50.520 - 02:40:16.040]
Terri A. Sewell
Now, for the record, my Republican colleagues will probably try to paint you as a never Trumper. Are you a never Trumper?
[02:40:16.040 - 02:40:30.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[02:40:30.680 - 02:40:31.280]
Terri A. Sewell
As a foreign service officer, you took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States without regard for who is in office. Is that correct?
[02:40:31.280 - 02:40:44.120]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that's true.
[02:40:44.120 - 02:40:47.640]
Terri A. Sewell
Have you also served in your 33 years for not just Democratic presidents, but also Republican presidents?
[02:40:47.640 - 02:40:55.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
Four Republican presidents.
[02:40:55.920 - 02:41:01.240]
Terri A. Sewell
Four Republican residents. In fact, you joined the foreign service under Reagan. Is that not right?
[02:41:01.240 - 02:41:12.880]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes, that's true.
[02:41:12.880 - 02:41:14.280]
Terri A. Sewell
Now, why do you think it's really important that foreign service officers are nonpartisan? Can you talk to us about why it's important for you to do your job and your fellow service foreign service officers to do your job that you are nonpartisan?
[02:41:14.280 - 02:41:30.640]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah, because our work is essentially nonpartisan and, you know, Senator Vandenburg, a Republican senator who actually partnered with President Truman coined a phrase that politics should stop at the water's edge. And I think that's exactly right because while obviously the competition of ideas in a democracy with different parties, different individuals is hugely important, but at the end of the day, when we are dealing with other countries, it needs to be about what is right for the United States.
[02:41:30.640 - 02:42:09.960]

But those are our national security interests and whether an individual works for the CIA or the military or the State Department, we've got to be nonpartisan and thinking about what is right for the United States.
[02:42:09.960 - 02:42:27.080]
Terri A. Sewell
Welcome on behalf of a grateful nation, I want to say thank you for your service and I yield back the balance of my time.
[02:42:27.080 - 02:42:33.160]
Marie Yovanovitch
Thank you. --
[02:42:33.160 - 02:42:34.400]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Turner?
[02:42:34.400 - 02:42:35.360]
Michael R. Turner
Ambassador, I want to tell you I have a great deal of respect for what you do. I serve on the Armed Services Committee, the Intelligence Committee. I've worked with the NATO Parliamentary assembly, including being its president. And I -- I know the complexity of the -- of what you do. I know you have little access directly to decision-makers, little resources, but you have still a great deal of responsibility.
[02:42:35.360 - 02:43:01.680]

It's a complex task. And I want to take us from just the concept of one-dimensional Ukraine being corrupt to the other issues that you had to deal with as the Ukraine ambassador. You had to deal with more than just our bilateral relationship with the Ukraine. For example, and I'd like confirmation that -- I mean, obviously, I know you know these, but these were on your portfolio.
[02:43:01.680 - 02:43:34.360]

You had to deal with the issue of the OSCE Budapest agreement and the denuclearization of Ukraine and the issues of its territorial integrity of -- of the signatories, correct?
[02:43:34.360 - 02:43:46.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
Could you run that by me again?
[02:43:46.680 - 02:43:49.160]
Michael R. Turner
The OSCE --
[02:43:49.160 - 02:43:49.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
[Affirmative sound]
[02:43:49.920 - 02:43:51.480]
Michael R. Turner
The organized -- Organization for Security and Cooperation for Europe --
[02:43:51.480 - 02:43:55.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
[Affirmative sound]
[02:43:55.720 - 02:43:57.800]
Michael R. Turner
And the Budapest agreement, under which Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons and believe they had its territorial integrity guaranteed by the United States and Russia. You would've had that in your portfolio.
[02:43:57.800 - 02:44:08.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, that -- yes.
[02:44:08.440 - 02:44:10.200]
Michael R. Turner
Was an issue you would have to deal with the Ukrainians on.
[02:44:10.200 - 02:44:13.240]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah, when the Ukrainians would ask about our policy and whether it was in keeping with the Budapest agreement.
[02:44:13.240 - 02:44:19.000]
Michael R. Turner
Excellent. NATO; Ukraine is an aspiring NATO country. And of course, you have the Bucharest Summit where the U.S. and the NATO allies made a statement that they would get membership. That would've been on your portfolio. They would have been discussing with you their --
[02:44:19.000 - 02:44:33.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes --
[02:44:33.520 - 02:44:33.880]
Michael R. Turner
Absolutely --
[02:44:33.880 - 02:44:35.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
Aspirations to NATO membership would be --
[02:44:35.760 - 02:44:39.120]
Michael R. Turner
Right. And it's also consistent with U.S. policy that the U.S. supports Ukraine joining the EU, and they have a great deal of -- of interest and -- and -- and desire for joining the EU, correct?
[02:44:39.120 - 02:44:51.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:44:51.680 - 02:44:52.360]
Michael R. Turner
And they just had a -- a summit in Ukraine in July where they talked about Associated Agreement on Economic Integration between the Ukraines and the EU. And they also had a discussion about the illegal annexation of Crimea and the blocking by Russia of the Ukrainian sailors that came out of the Azov Sea that were -- were captured.
[02:44:52.360 - 02:45:13.680]

Those would have all been issues that would have been in your portfolio and that were consistent with what the EU's issues are, correct?
[02:45:13.680 - 02:45:22.400]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes. We work closely with our EU partners.
[02:45:22.400 - 02:45:27.240]
Michael R. Turner
In addition to Ukraine, you'd have to work with France and UK and Germany, all of which would have different ideas of those, the ambassadors to the Ukraine of France, Germany, and the --
[02:45:27.240 - 02:45:39.400]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah --
[02:45:39.400 - 02:45:39.800]
Michael R. Turner
Correct?
[02:45:39.800 - 02:45:40.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah. Did you say they all have different ideas about these issues?
[02:45:40.360 - 02:45:42.960]
Michael R. Turner
Some of them, yes.
[02:45:42.960 - 02:45:44.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
But -- but mostly there's a consensus.
[02:45:44.080 - 02:45:47.840]
Michael R. Turner
You'd have to work with NGOs, nongovernmental organizations, on issues that we heard about, legal aid, human trafficking, building democratic institutions, and even HIV/AIDS, right?
[02:45:47.840 - 02:45:59.000]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:45:59.000 - 02:45:59.560]
Michael R. Turner
And you've spoken at several NGOs while you were the ambassador to Ukraine.
[02:45:59.560 - 02:46:03.640]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:46:03.640 - 02:46:04.200]
Michael R. Turner
Now, the U.S. ambassador to the EU, they would have under their portfolio aspiring nations to the EU, would they not?
[02:46:04.200 - 02:46:10.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah.
[02:46:10.440 - 02:46:10.920]
Michael R. Turner
Okay. So, EU Ambassador Sondland then would have had Ukraine in his portfolio because they're an inspiring nation and he's our U.S. ambassador to the EU, correct?
[02:46:10.920 - 02:46:26.400]
Marie Yovanovitch
I think he testified that one of his first discussions --
[02:46:26.400 - 02:46:29.440]
Michael R. Turner
But you agree --
[02:46:29.440 - 02:46:29.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
Was with the Ukrainians --
[02:46:29.920 - 02:46:31.040]
Michael R. Turner
That it's within his portfolio, correct?
[02:46:31.040 - 02:46:32.720]
Unidentified
She's answering your question.
[02:46:32.720 - 02:46:35.640]
Michael R. Turner
You would agree that it's in his portfolio, would you not? Yes.
[02:46:35.640 - 02:46:38.800]
Marie Yovanovitch
I would agree that --
[02:46:38.800 - 02:46:40.080]
Michael R. Turner
Yes, thank you. Now, I -- I want to go to the next --
[02:46:40.080 - 02:46:45.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
I'd like to finish --
[02:46:45.440 - 02:46:48.920]
Unidentified
I'm sorry. Could she finish her answer, please?
[02:46:48.920 - 02:46:52.200]
Michael R. Turner
Richard Holbrooke is a gentleman who --
[02:46:52.200 - 02:46:55.160]
Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman --
[02:46:55.160 - 02:46:56.160]
Michael R. Turner
Which I have great --
[02:46:56.160 - 02:46:59.240]
Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman will suspend --
[02:46:59.240 - 02:47:00.880]
Michael R. Turner
Deal of -- of --
[02:47:00.880 - 02:47:01.840]
Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman will suspend --
[02:47:01.840 - 02:47:05.680]
Michael R. Turner
Reverence for. I'm not going to suspend.
[02:47:05.680 - 02:47:12.200]
Adam B. Schiff
Ms. Yovanovitch, she had not finished her answer. You may finish your answer, Ambassador.
[02:47:12.200 - 02:47:17.960]
Michael R. Turner
Not on my time. You're done.
[02:47:17.960 - 02:47:20.160]
Adam B. Schiff
Nope.
[02:47:20.160 - 02:47:21.000]
Michael R. Turner
Right?
[02:47:21.000 - 02:47:21.440]
Adam B. Schiff
Ambassador -- the ambassador will be recognized.
[02:47:21.440 - 02:47:26.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
I would say that all EU ambassadors deal with other countries, including aspiring countries. But the -- it is unusual to name the U.S. ambassador to the EU to be responsible for all aspects of Ukraine.
[02:47:26.440 - 02:47:42.040]
Michael R. Turner
I -- I'll -- I'll take your additional answer. It's still in his portfolio, which was my question. You -- you knew Ambassador Holbrooke probably. I did. He's a man of great integrity, one of our most successful ambassadors. You knew him probably by his reputation. You would agree that he was a man of great reputation, right?
[02:47:42.040 - 02:47:57.400]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:47:57.400 - 02:47:59.520]
Michael R. Turner
Yes. Madam Ambassador, would it surprise you if in 2004, John Kerry had a member of his campaign who was a foreign policy advisor who traveled to the Ukraine in July and met with Ukrainian officials and the U.S. ambassador? With that surprise you? A member of John Kerry's campaign team for president of the United States in 2004 travel to Ukraine and met with the U.S. ambassador in July.
[02:47:59.520 - 02:48:25.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
Not necessarily. What was the context?
[02:48:25.760 - 02:48:28.040]
Michael R. Turner
Would you have taken that meeting? If -- if a member of John Kerry's campaign travel to the Ukraine, would you have taken that meeting?
[02:48:28.040 - 02:48:36.760]
Marie Yovanovitch
I guess it would depend on what the purpose of the meeting was.
[02:48:36.760 - 02:48:43.360]
Michael R. Turner
Well, that meeting actually occurred, and it was with John Holbrooke. John Holbrooke was a private citizen, traveled to Ukraine, met with U.S. ambassadors, met with Ukrainian officials. He was also there on -- about HIV/AIDS, which was, in addition, something that the Clinton Foundation was working on. So, we have a -- a official of the John Kerry campaign in 2004, is a private citizen meeting with our ambassador in Ukraine.
[02:48:43.360 - 02:49:04.760]
Adam B. Schiff
The time of the gentleman is expired.
[02:49:04.760 - 02:49:05.000]
Michael R. Turner
Is that unusual?
[02:49:05.000 - 02:49:05.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
We meet with private individuals all the time.
[02:49:05.960 - 02:49:09.720]
Michael R. Turner
It probably wasn't unusual for Giuliani, either.
[02:49:09.720 - 02:49:11.200]
Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman's time is expired. Mr. Carson, you're recognized.
[02:49:11.200 - 02:49:14.720]
Andre Carson
Thank you, Chairman. Thank you, Madam Ambassador. Madam Ambassador, returning to the topic of corruption, we heard evidence that you were successful at promoting efforts to address eruption. On Wednesday, testifying about your very sterling career as a champion of anticorruption efforts in Ukraine, Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent said, "You can't promote principled anticorruption action without pissing off corrupt people." It seems that your efforts as ambassador to essentially reform the powerful prosecutor general's office in Ukraine did exactly that.
[02:49:14.720 - 02:49:49.920]

Madam Ambassador, what concerned you about the prosecutor general's office when you were the ambassador in Ukraine?
[02:49:49.920 - 02:49:56.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
What concerned us was that there didn't seem to be any progress in the three overall objectives that Mr. Lutsenko had laid out, most importantly for the Ukrainian people but also for the international community. So, the first thing was reforming the prosecutor general's office. It's a tremendously powerful office where they had authority not only to conduct investigations, so an FBI-like function, but also to do the actual prosecution, so very, very wide powers, which is part of that Soviet legacy.
[02:49:56.560 - 02:50:34.600]

And they -- there just wasn't a lot of progress in that. There was a lot of progress in handling personnel issues and how the structure should be organized and who should have the important jobs, because some of the people in those jobs were -- were known to -- were considered to be corrupt themselves. Secondly, the issue that was tremendously important to the Ukrainian people of bringing justice to the over 100 people who died on the Maidan during the Revolution of Dignity in 2014. Nobody has been held accountable for that, and that is, you know, kind of an open wound for the Ukrainian people.
[02:50:34.600 - 02:51:19.000]

And thirdly, Ukraine needs all the money that it has, and it is -- there is a strong belief that former President Yanukovych and those around him made off with over $40 billion, $40 billion. That's a lot in the U.S. It's a huge amount of money in Ukraine. And so, again, nobody has -- none of that money has really been -- I think -- I think maybe $1 billion was repatriated, but the rest of it is still missing.
[02:51:19.000 - 02:51:53.560]
Andre Carson
Madam Ambassador, was the head of that office corrupt?
[02:51:53.560 - 02:51:56.440]
Marie Yovanovitch
We believe so.
[02:51:56.440 - 02:51:58.480]
Andre Carson
And you got the sense, did you not, that he was a driving force behind some of the attacks against you?
[02:51:58.480 - 02:52:04.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
I did.
[02:52:04.560 - 02:52:05.840]
Andre Carson
Which ultimately led to your removal, correct?
[02:52:05.840 - 02:52:09.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:52:09.080 - 02:52:09.840]
Andre Carson
But it wasn't just him. His allegations were picked up and spread by Mr. Giuliani and Donald Trump, Jr., were they not?
[02:52:09.840 - 02:52:16.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:52:16.960 - 02:52:18.120]
Andre Carson
So, let me get this straight. You are effective at fighting corruption in Ukraine. Fighting that corruption was important to the national security of the United States. And you were punished for that, ultimately being removed from your post by the president of the United States. So, in your opinion, Madam Ambassador, why is it important to have a nonpartisan career in the foreign services?
[02:52:18.120 - 02:52:43.520]
Marie Yovanovitch
I -- I think it's important to have a nonpartisan career foreign service office -- or service, I should say --
[02:52:43.520 - 02:52:53.320]
Andre Carson
Sure --
[02:52:53.320 - 02:52:53.680]
Marie Yovanovitch
Because what we do is inherently nonpartisan. It is about our national security interest. It's not about what is good for a particular party at a particular time. It has to be about the -- the greater interest of our security in, frankly, what is an increasingly dangerous world.
[02:52:53.680 - 02:53:13.680]
Andre Carson
Could you briefly describe for us what broad U.S. policies you have sought to advance in your 33 years of service and specifically in post-Soviet states like Ukraine?
[02:53:13.680 - 02:53:24.400]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, that's a broad question. But I think that, certainly in my time in -- in Russia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, all of these countries are very different, as is Ukraine. And in -- but I think that establishing positive, constructive relations to the extent that we can with -- with -- with those countries is -- is really important.
[02:53:24.400 - 02:53:51.360]

And that -- you know, I mean, there are three basic areas. One is security. The second is economic. The third is political. And so, working all the sub issues, your colleague mentioned many of them, you know, we certainly do that in Ukraine as well.
[02:53:51.360 - 02:54:06.760]
Andre Carson
Thank you for your service. I yield to the chairman.
[02:54:06.760 - 02:54:09.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
Thanks.
[02:54:09.320 - 02:54:10.560]
Adam B. Schiff
Dr. Wenstrup? --
[02:54:10.560 - 02:54:12.360]
Brad R. Wenstrup
Thank you Mr. Chairman and Madame Ambassador thank you very much for being here and I just want to start by saying I appreciate your years of service and injuring years of moving around the world to dangerous places in hearing from you today I realize that we share some of these same feelings and experiences.
[02:54:12.360 - 02:54:31.920]

As an Army reserve surgeon I received a call on a Monday afternoon in March 2005 that told me I was being deployed to Iraq and I had to be out the door in the next 2 to 3 days. I had patient scheduled for months. I had surgeries scheduled and had to go. So I understand that shocking feeling that can come with some abrupt change like that and I was in processing a few days later and I was told my orders would say you were going for 18 months but it may be a little shorter than that.
[02:54:31.920 - 02:55:04.640]

But I served a year in Iraq 2005, 2006, one of the bloodiest times of the war and this is where I have another personal relationship with what you were talking about. I saw a nation in Iraq of people that craved a non-corrupt government and sadly today even though it helped to remove Saddam Hussein they still have corruption concerns in Iraq and I can relate to what you said just a few moments ago that it feels like in an open wound when it hasn't been resolved.
[02:55:04.640 - 02:55:33.760]

But you might imagine with that military experience and background I take an interest in military strategy and capabilities and the thoughts of those with boots on the ground like you and Mr. Volker and Mr. Taylor. In your deposition on page 144 you were quoted as saying in terms of lethal assistance we all felt it was very significant that this administration made the decision to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine.
[02:55:33.760 - 02:55:58.160]

Just real quick who in general makes up we all? Would that be the team I mentioned?
[02:55:58.160 - 02:56:03.120]
Marie Yovanovitch
Just one second. What -- what line is that?
[02:56:03.120 - 02:56:11.680]
Brad R. Wenstrup
Well I -- I have to move on. I only -- you said we all felt it was very significant that this administration made the decision to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine. I assume that is those that have boots on the ground. And then this administration I assume you meant the trumpet administration.
[02:56:11.680 - 02:56:28.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:56:28.560 - 02:56:29.880]
Brad R. Wenstrup
Okay. In your deposition also on page 144 you spoke about the generosity of Congress. You mentioned it today, increasing aid to Ukraine and part of your deposition after that statement that I quoted be for you were asked did you advocate for that. You responded yes. Then you were asked did you advocate for that prior to the new administration in 2016 and you responded well, yeah.
[02:56:29.880 - 02:56:53.800]

On page 148 you were -- the question was were you satisfied that the administration was doing what was necessary to support Ukraine. You said in what respect and they said in you know helping them deter Russian aggression, helping them with foreign aid and foreign assistance and you said yeah. And I agree that lethal assistance was very significant as you said and I thank you for event and I thank Mr. Volker and I think Mr. Taylor.
[02:56:53.800 - 02:57:21.560]

You know the -- acting Ambassador Taylor was here Wednesday. He testified about the president's decision to withhold lethal eight and he said the President felt it might provoke Russia and Mr. Taylor contested then that Russia has already been for a vote and they have invaded the Ukraine. You know President Obama have the right to make his own foreign policy and make his own decisions as President of the United States, correct?
[02:57:21.560 - 02:57:51.360]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yell. I mean there's an inter-agency process and obviously Congress has a role as well.
[02:57:51.360 - 02:57:56.920]
Brad R. Wenstrup
But he -- he has the right as President. I respect the enter agency process. I'm getting to that actually but he has the right to make his own foreign policy and make his own decisions as President of the United States as do all presidents, correct?
[02:57:56.920 - 02:58:09.040]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[02:58:09.040 - 02:58:10.280]
Brad R. Wenstrup
So we have one President, Obama who denied lethal aid all together in spite of ambassadors and other boots on the ground recommending, making that recommendation such as you did. We have another President, Trump, who vetted those that were going to receive the aid and provided it consistent with your intra-agency recommendations and that of your colleagues.
[02:58:10.280 - 02:58:38.000]

Let me just ask from a military standpoint. Without javelins would -- would you agree the Russians had much greater military offense of options and flexibility in their effort to attack the Ukraine without the Ukraine having javelins?
[02:58:38.000 - 02:58:59.800]
Marie Yovanovitch
I mean they had another option although the tank war is no longer the war that is being fought in Ukraine.
[02:58:59.800 - 02:59:07.720]
Brad R. Wenstrup
But I'm just saying with the javelin.
[02:59:07.720 - 02:59:09.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
It is another option.
[02:59:09.480 - 02:59:10.000]
Brad R. Wenstrup
And there's a reason for that because the javelins are there and so I think that that changes the scenario but I -- I just wanted to make that point that the President has a right to have their own foreign policy and to make their own decisions and with that I yield back.
[02:59:10.000 - 02:59:24.040]
Marie Yovanovitch
If I could just supplement one of my answers.
[02:59:24.040 - 02:59:27.400]
Brad R. Wenstrup
Of course.
[02:59:27.400 - 02:59:27.960]
Marie Yovanovitch
So I want to thank you for your service as well. But what I would like to say is while I -- I obviously don't dispute that the President has the right to -- to withdraw and ambassador add in the time for any reason but what I do wonder is why it was necessary to smear my reputation.
[02:59:27.960 - 02:59:52.200]
Brad R. Wenstrup
Well I wasn't asking about that but thank you very much, ma'am.
[02:59:52.200 - 02:59:57.600]
Adam B. Schiff
Representative Speier.
[02:59:57.600 - 02:59:58.080]
Jackie Speier
Thank you Mr. Chairman. Thank you ambassador so very much. You were confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote weren't you?
[02:59:58.080 - 03:00:05.920]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[03:00:05.920 - 03:00:06.760]
Jackie Speier
So unanimous, Republicans and Democrats, correct?
[03:00:06.760 - 03:00:09.800]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes.
[03:00:09.800 - 03:00:09.920]
Jackie Speier
No dispute. You said that in summer of 2018 these smear campaign began. In your testimony earlier today. Did Secretary Pompeo at any time come to your aid?
[03:00:09.920 - 03:00:24.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, my understanding from Assistant Secretary [Inaudible] and Deputy Secretary Sullivan is that you know sort of the rumors about me for lack of a better word these smear campaign which was behind closed doors at that point that there were a number of discussions between the President and Secretary Pompeo and that he actually did - might did keep me in place for as long as he could.
[03:00:24.320 - 03:00:53.600]

That is what I was told.
[03:00:53.600 - 03:00:55.520]
Jackie Speier
So it appears that back in 2018 the President was already making noises that he wanted you out of there. It appears that as early as April 2018 Mr. [Inaudible] was at a fundraiser for the President and recommended that you be removed and then subsequently in May 2018 was pictured at a White House dinner with the President and then later in May made a contribution of over $325,000 the legally to the President's reelection campaign.
[03:00:55.520 - 03:01:29.800]

Are you aware of that?
[03:01:29.800 - 03:01:30.640]
Marie Yovanovitch
I -- I am aware of the -- the press about those things.
[03:01:30.640 - 03:01:34.600]
Jackie Speier
those that help you understand a little bit more why these smear campaign was underway?
[03:01:34.600 - 03:01:41.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yes. I mean --
[03:01:41.720 - 03:01:45.800]
Jackie Speier
All right. You made some very riveting comments in your statement this morning that I just want to repeat because I think we should have you expand on it. You said I have always understood that I served at the pleasure of the President. I still find it difficult to comprehend that foreign and private interest were able to undermine U.S. interest in this way, individuals who apparently felt stymied by our efforts to promote stated U.S. policy against corruption, that is to do our mission were able to successfully conduct a campaign of disinformation against a sitting ambassador using unofficial back channels.
[03:01:45.800 - 03:02:31.080]

Now as I listen to you make that statement I was thinking of all of the other persons in the foreign service who now have to be concerned that it's not good enough to follow the stated U.S. foreign policy but also to be aware that may be the President has a back channel of interest that he is promoting that is diametrically opposed to our stated foreign policy.
[03:02:31.080 - 03:02:59.840]

Can you expand on that please?
[03:02:59.840 - 03:03:01.600]
Marie Yovanovitch
Well, I think that it is important that whoever is representing the President, and ambassador speaks with the full authority of the President and our foreign policy establishment and if there are others who are also helping with the responsibilities in that country for example ambassador Kurt Volker with his important mission to bring peace to the [Inaudible] that we all speak with one voice, that it is all about our common security interest and that it is not about you know personal gain or commercial gain or anything else, that it is about our national security.
[03:03:01.600 - 03:03:46.120]
Jackie Speier
But in this case the tres amigos appeared to be more interested in getting an investigation then into promoting an anticorruption effort in Ukraine. Is that correct?
[03:03:46.120 - 03:04:00.560]
Marie Yovanovitch
That appears to be the case.
[03:04:00.560 - 03:04:02.080]
Jackie Speier
You were told at one point in 2019, in February of earlier this year you spoke to a minister in Ukraine who warned that when it came to Rudy Giuliani you needed to quote watch your back. What did you understand him to mean?
[03:04:02.080 - 03:04:20.600]
Marie Yovanovitch
I -- I didn't exactly know but you know the rumor was out there at that time and in fact I think this minister also shared that information with me that the mayor was working to have me removed.
[03:04:20.600 - 03:04:35.040]
Jackie Speier
Let me just say to conclude that you have endured and orchestrated character assassination, but it was hatched over a year and a half ago and that it is laced with enormous campaign contributions to the President's reelection campaign and you deserve more from the American people and you deserve more from Congress in supporting you.
[03:04:35.040 - 03:05:00.200]

I yield by.
[03:05:00.200 - 03:05:00.960]
Michael R. Turner
[Inaudible] unanimous consent --
[03:05:00.960 - 03:05:02.800]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Stewart you are recognized.
[03:05:02.800 - 03:05:04.880]
Michael R. Turner
I have unanimous consent, Mr. Chairman?
[03:05:04.880 - 03:05:06.400]
Adam B. Schiff
We can take that up later. Mr. Stewart, you are recognized. --
[03:05:06.400 - 03:05:08.920]
Chris Stewart
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and others. And Ambassador, thank you for being with us here today. Welcome. As I said last -- a couple days ago to the witnesses, welcome to year four of the impeachment proceedings. I'm sorry that you have gotten dragged into this. For three years we've heard these outrageous and, frankly, unbelievable accusations regarding Russian collusion, accusations that we now know are absolute nonsense, that there was no basis at all despite promises from some members of this committee that they had secret proof that would prove this collusion.
[03:05:08.920 - 03:05:47.040]

And again, we know that it was nonsense. But now in year four we apparently move on to Ukraine and quid pro quo, culminating yesterday when the speaker announced that the president would indeed be impeached and removed for office for bribery. And with that statement I would now feel compelled to ask you, Madam Ambassador, as you sit here before us, very simply and directly, do you have any information regarding the president of the United States accepting any bribes?
[03:05:47.040 - 03:06:18.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[03:06:18.080 - 03:06:21.160]
Chris Stewart
Do you have any information regarding any criminal activity that the president of the United States has been involved with at all?
[03:06:21.160 - 03:06:28.400]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[03:06:28.400 - 03:06:30.920]
Chris Stewart
Thank you. Thank you for answering that directly. The American people know this is nonsense. The American people know this is unfair. And I have a prediction regarding this. I think the public support for impeachment is actually going to be less when these hearings are over than it is when the hearings began because finally the American people are going to be able to see the evidence, and they're going to be able to make their own determination regarding that.
[03:06:30.920 - 03:06:55.800]

Now I want to ask you one thing very quickly, and you've been asked this again and again, but my question is slightly different. You've been asked as you recognize, that the president, any president, has the ability to ask his ambassadors to serve at will. I'm curious, do you think that's the right policy?
[03:06:55.800 - 03:07:13.280]
Marie Yovanovitch
Yeah, I probably think it is.
[03:07:13.280 - 03:07:19.280]
Chris Stewart
I do as well. It may be imperfect. There may be times when it's not used perfectly, but I agree with you; it is the right policy. I don't think that we should change that. Now I'd like to read from some previous statements, including one of your own, as well as others, regarding the appropriateness of investigating corruption in the UK. From Miss Fiona Hill, so again, the fact that there are investigations into corruption in the energy sector in Ukraine, as well as Russia and many other countries, is not a surprise.
[03:07:19.280 - 03:07:47.840]

From yourself, your previous testimony, question, was it the general understanding that Burisma was a company that suffered from allegations of corruption? Your answer was yes. From Ambassador Sondland, I am -- I just am generally aware that Burisma is considered a potentially corrupt company. Would you agree then that it's appropriate to investigate corruption?
[03:07:47.840 - 03:08:13.720]
Marie Yovanovitch
I think it's appropriate if it's -- if it's part of our national strategy. What I would say is that we have a process for doing that. It's called the mutual legal assistance treaty. We have one with Ukraine. And generally it goes from our Department of Justice to the Ministry of Justice in the country of interest.
[03:08:13.720 - 03:08:38.640]
Chris Stewart
Okay, and I --
[03:08:38.640 - 03:08:39.320]
Marie Yovanovitch
And that's the usual path.
[03:08:39.320 - 03:08:40.080]
Chris Stewart
And I appreciate that. Regardless of the process, though, it's appropriate for us to investigate potential corruption, and especially, look, we're about to give these -- some of these countries hundreds of millions of dollars that the U.S. taxpayers said here's a dollar of mine; go ahead and give it to this other country.
[03:08:40.080 - 03:08:57.360]

But please only do it if you know it's not going to be used for corrupt purposes or against our national interest. And I'll conclude with this because I promised my friend, Mr. Jordan, I would save him a little bit of time. We had mentioned earlier that the vice president, when he was -- went to the Ukraine and called for the specific firing of a specific prosecutor, that he was, as they say, completing official U.S. policy.
[03:08:57.360 - 03:09:23.320]

But the interesting thing is this. The vice president had exactly two countries that were his responsibility at that time, China and the Ukraine. And he has bragged and been very proud of his influence in the previous administration. He says again and again that the Obama administration listened to him. So it doesn't surprise me that they would be fulfilling a policy that this vice presidents certainly helped to formulate.
[03:09:23.320 - 03:09:47.600]

Mr. Jordan, I leave you --
[03:09:47.600 - 03:09:49.800]
Michael R. Turner
[Inaudible]
[03:09:49.800 - 03:09:50.080]
Chris Stewart
In Cyprus. I'm sorry. Thank you. Clarification. And I will yield to, for unanimous consent.
[03:09:50.080 - 03:10:00.360]
Michael R. Turner
I have unanimous consent, Mr. Chairman, that doesn't involve you this time. It's three articles, the New York Times article, 2004 Campaign: The Advisers; Kerry Foreign Policy Crew Has a Clintonian Look to It.
[03:10:00.360 - 03:10:10.200]
Adam B. Schiff
The time of the gentleman has expired.
[03:10:10.200 - 03:10:12.040]
Michael R. Turner
Kyiv Post, Holbrook to Visit Kiev July 2004 --
[03:10:12.040 - 03:10:14.960]
Adam B. Schiff
We will take up -- I may recognize you later.
[03:10:14.960 - 03:10:16.280]
Michael R. Turner
[Inaudible] Holbrook Meets with One Ukrainian [Inaudible]
[03:10:16.280 - 03:10:17.320]
Adam B. Schiff
The gentleman's time is expired.
[03:10:17.320 - 03:10:18.520]
Michael R. Turner
Organization. I'd like to have the unanimous consent, Mr. Chairman.
[03:10:18.520 - 03:10:21.960]
Adam B. Schiff
Mr. Quigley, you're recognized. Mr. Quigley, you're recognized.
[03:10:21.960 - 03:10:25.120]
Mike Quigley
Thank you. Madam Ambassador, it's like a Hallmark movie. You ended up at Georgetown. This is all okay. But it wasn't your preference seven, eight months ago, correct?
[03:10:25.120 - 03:10:43.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
No, it was not.
[03:10:43.080 - 03:10:44.200]
Mike Quigley
It wasn't your preference to be the victim of a smear campaign, was it?
[03:10:44.200 - 03:10:48.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[03:10:48.080 - 03:10:48.680]
Mike Quigley
It wasn't your preference to be defamed by the president of the United States, including today, was it?
[03:10:48.680 - 03:10:55.480]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[03:10:55.480 - 03:10:56.280]
Mike Quigley
It wasn't your preference to be ousted at seemingly the pinnacle of your career, was it?
[03:10:56.280 - 03:11:06.840]
Marie Yovanovitch
No.
[03:11:06.840 - 03:11:07.960]
Mike Quigley
You wanted to finish your extended tour, correct?
[03:11:07.960 - 03:11:12.080]
Marie Yovanovitch
I did.
[03:11:12.080 - 03:11:13.640]