Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is sworn in to testify to the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, during the second public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
To tell you the truth, I’m not really sure why Marie Yovanovitch, the state department employee who President Trump dismissed as ambassador to Ukraine, is even testifying today. The alleged issue the “impeachment inquiry” is examining is a “quid pro quo” linking future Ukraine aid to them cracking down on endemic corruption. That Ground Zero of said endemic corruption involved Hunter Biden, son of “QuidProJoe” Biden and who was getting paid $83,000 per month in pay-to-play money by a Ukrainian gas company, was simply a pleasant byproduct of enforcing the rule of law without fear or favor.
As best I can tell, Yovanovitch has nothing to add to the investigation. She wasn’t on any of the phone calls in question. In fact, she’s testified to her speculation about one of the calls and now we know that her speculation was wildly incorrect.
Here's a key detail:
In her deposition, Yovanovitch and Schiff speculated that President Trump and President Zelensky had discussed her on this call and "bash[ed]" her
But as the transcript shows, Yovanovitch was not discussed pic.twitter.com/uYNWBrqJnS
— Zach Parkinson (@AZachParkinson) November 15, 2019
In fact, it seems from the testimony that Trump is being accused of hurting her feelings and that offense is now, at least in Adam Schiff’s twisted little mind, a high crime or misdemeanor.
Amb. Yovanovitch is a dedicated American diplomat who was forced from her position after a vicious smear campaign orchestrated by the president’s allies.
Today, we’re releasing her transcript, and that of another committed public servant, Amb. McKinley.https://t.co/1y8beUdeLr
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 4, 2019
If we assume that is true, so what? Ambassadors are appointees of the president and they serve in that position so long as they are wanted. What James Comey said about the authority of the president to fire the FBI Director applies to all presidential appointees, he can fire them for “any reason, or for no reason at all.” It is just like an “at-will” employment agreement in the private sector. One may not like how something was done, but the aesthetic of the action has no bearing on its propriety. This is not a matter for argument, the Supreme Court has so ruled several times.
Her other issue is that, like with Vindman and the coterie of megalomaniacs who testified with him, she is miffed that the Ukraine policy that President Trump adopted is not one that she likes. Again, so what? An ambassador carries out the foreign policy of the President. Not the foreign policy of the State Department. Not the foreign policy of her Kennedy School colleagues. Not the foreign policy of rando Democrats. When an ambassador can’t do that, it is incumbent upon them to resign and let the President find an ambassador who will carry out the foreign policy of the United States. Dragging your feet and throwing up obstacles is not professional and not honorable, it’s petulant, dishonest and childlike.
President Trump had more than ample reason to not trust Yovanovitch. Not only were senior staff in the State Department, including ambassadors, who had risen in rank under Obama leaking and undercutting the President and his administration, Yovanovitch had a track record of obstructing the very anti-corruption policies that Trump was trying to impose upon Ukraine.
Significant and well-documented reporting here that Marie Yovanovitch, the Ukraine ambassador fired by Trump in May, personally coerced the Ukrainian government to drop the prosecution of a Soros-funded activist outfit connected to 2016 election meddling. https://t.co/T8QPcnBswz
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) November 15, 2019
In short, even though Yovanovitch opposed President Trump’s Ukraine policy, rather than resigning she stayed in her position and worked to undercut it. This was known to the White House, and apparently to Foggy Bottom as well, and led to President Trump creating a special task force to deal with Ukraine in order to cut her out. Finally, she was fired. The process might have been ugly, but that is a matter of taste and not grounds for impeachment.
So, Ambassador Yovanovitch, sorry that your feelings are a bit bruised but this is like shooting yourself in the foot and then complaining because it hurts. You had a choice of faithfully executing the foreign policy of the United States or resigning. You chose neither, deciding instead to carry out your own rogue foreign policy as a member of the #Resistance. You were caught out. You were fired…with a dollop of public humiliation. That’s all that happened. That happens to a lot of people. You’re not special. Get over it.