Yovanovitch touts ‘contributions’ as ambassador, compares herself to Benghazi victims in opening statement

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch joined the Democrats’ impeachment show as she declared her innocence in the latest public hearing.

Yovanovitch, who was fired in April, gave a lengthy opening statement to the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, following in the footsteps of this week’s previous witnesses to say she essentially has no firsthand knowledge of President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

(Video: CNN)

In fact, the career State Department officer touted her patriotism and contributions by comparing herself to other U.S. diplomats, including the US hostages taken in Tehran in 1979 and held for 444 days and the four who died in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 when former President  Obama and his secretary of state Hillary Clinton failed to protect them.

“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,” Yovanovitch told the panel on Friday.

“The events that predated my Ukraine service include, the release of the so-called black ledger and Mr. [Paul] Manafort’s subsequent resignation from President Trump’s campaign and the departure from office of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. And several other events occurred after I returned from the 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,” she added.

Yovanovitch, who has been accused of lying under oath already, accused Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, of starting a “smear campaign” against her that she claimed led to her removal by the president on April.

“I do not understand Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me, nor can I offer an opinion on whether he believed the allegations he spread about me,” Yovanovitch said. “If our chief representative is kneecapped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the United States.”

The president trolled the former ambassador as she testified, declaring in a tweet that everywhere she worked “turned bad.”

The former diplomat who served both Republican and Democratic presidents delivered an outrageous conclusion to her opening statement.

“We are professionals, 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,” she said with no sense of the irony of her words.

“We are people who repeatedly uproot our lives, who risk— and sometimes give—our lives for this country. We are the fifty-two Americans who forty years ago this month began 444 days of deprivation, torture and captivity in Tehran,” she said.

“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,” she said of the Benghazi victims. “These courageous individuals were attacked because they symbolized America. What you need to know, what the American people need to know, is that while, thankfully, most of us answer the call to duty in less dramatic ways, every Foreign Service Officer runs these same risks.”

Twitter users blasted Yovanovitch for her “disrespect.”


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