The Latest: Ex-diplomat’s testimony ends after 9-plus hours

Political News
Donald Trump, Gordon Sondland

FILE – In this July 10, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump is joined by Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, second from right, as he arrives at Melsbroek Air Base, in Brussels, Belgium. Sondland, wrapped up in a congressional impeachment inquiry, was a late convert to Trump, initially supporting another candidate in the Republican primary and once refusing to participate in a fundraiser on his behalf. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former U.S. Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and the House impeachment probe (all times local):

7:45 p.m.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch has finished her testimony to House impeachment investigators after more than nine hours of questioning behind closed doors.

Yovanovitch said in an opening statement obtained by The Associated Press on Friday that she was “abruptly” recalled in May and told the president had lost confidence in her. She said there was a “concerted campaign” against her based on “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”

Democrats questioned Yovanovitch as part of their impeachment investigation into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. The Democratic chairmen issued a subpoena for her testimony after the State Department ordered her not to appear.

She left without taking questions from reporters Friday night.

Yovanovitch is doing a fellowship at Georgetown University but remains employed by the State Department.

___

2:30 p.m.

The chairmen of three Democratic committees say they subpoenaed Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, before she began closed-door testimony Friday.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings said in a statement that they learned late Thursday that the State Department had directed Yovanovitch not to testify. They then issued a subpoena to compel her testimony Friday morning.

In prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press, Yovanovitch said that she was told President Donald Trump had pushed to oust her from the position. She left the post in May.

The chairmen said efforts by the Trump administration “will be deemed obstruction” in their impeachment inquiry.

___

12:25 p.m.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch told lawmakers Friday that the State Department was pressured by President Donald Trump to remove her from her position.

Yovanovitch said in an opening statement obtained by The Associated Press that she was “abruptly” recalled in May and told the president had lost confidence in her. She said she was told by an official that there was a “concerted campaign against me” and that Trump had pressured officials to remove her for almost a year.

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

Democrats are questioning Yovanovitch as part of an impeachment investigation into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

___

10:15 a.m.

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch has arrived on Capitol Hill for a deposition in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry despite President Donald Trump’s position that his administration won’t cooperate with the probe.

Yovanovitch was recalled from her post in May and is now a State Department fellow at Georgetown University. Trump said earlier this week that he would block officials from testifying.

Democrats are investigating Trump’s direct pleas to Ukrainian officials to launch investigations of political rival Joe Biden and his family. The Associated Press reported Thursday that a former diplomat, recalling a recent conversation with Yovanovitch, said she was removed after insisting that the requests for investigations be relayed according to long-established protocol.

Yovanovitch was recalled from Kyiv in May as Rudy Giuliani — who is Trump’s personal attorney and has no official role in the U.S. government — pushed Ukrainian officials to investigate baseless corruption allegations against the Bidens.

___

9:30 a.m.

Lawyers for Ambassador Gordon Sondland say he’ll appear for an interview before a joint House committee taking depositions in the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump despite having been ordered by the State Department not to appear.

Sondland attorneys Robert Luskin and Kwame Manley say Sondland will honor a congressional subpoena and “looks forward to testifying” Oct. 17. The lawyers said Friday that Sondland has no agenda apart from answering questions “fully and truthfully.”

Sondland is the sitting U.S. ambassador to the European Union and an employee of the State Department.

His lawyers say he also has been ordered to produce “relevant documents” but he won’t be bringing documents with him. They say the State Department has sole authority to produce such documents and that Sondland hopes they’ll be shared with the committees before his testimony.

The State Department directed Sondland not to appear for his previously scheduled voluntary deposition on Tuesday. The joint House committee issued the subpoena for Sondland’s testimony on Wednesday.

___

1:40 a.m.

The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was removed from her post after insisting that Rudy Giuliani’s requests to Ukrainian officials for investigations be relayed through official channels. That’s according to a former diplomat who has spoken with her.

The ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, is scheduled to testify before congressional lawmakers Friday as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Democrats say they expect her to appear despite the White House’s position that no administration officials cooperate with the probe.

Yovanovitch was recalled from Kyiv in May as Giuliani — who is Trump’s personal attorney and has no official role in the U.S. government — pushed Ukrainian officials to investigate baseless corruption allegations against the Bidens.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Turkey Day Giveaway

Days

Hours

Minutes

Seconds

Recent Videos

Mom builds Halloween display for terminally ill son

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mom builds Halloween display for terminally ill son"

Duncan School Threat

Thumbnail for the video titled "Duncan School Threat"

Sikes Senter Mall robbery

Thumbnail for the video titled "Sikes Senter Mall robbery"

Horses help inmates struggling with anger and anxiety

Thumbnail for the video titled "Horses help inmates struggling with anger and anxiety"

Building a better guide dog

Thumbnail for the video titled "Building a better guide dog"

Crash survivor spends week trapped in car

Thumbnail for the video titled "Crash survivor spends week trapped in car"

Man sets sit-up record on 70th birthday

Thumbnail for the video titled "Man sets sit-up record on 70th birthday"

Cancer fighters strike up friendship and create song writing duo

Thumbnail for the video titled "Cancer fighters strike up friendship and create song writing duo"

President Trump's MAGA rally & presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke's counter rally

Thumbnail for the video titled "President Trump's MAGA rally & presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke's counter rally"

Birthdays & Anniversaries 10-18-19

Thumbnail for the video titled "Birthdays & Anniversaries 10-18-19"

Orville Merritt scheduled to plead

Thumbnail for the video titled "Orville Merritt scheduled to plead"

Man arrested outside President Trump's rally in Dallas

Thumbnail for the video titled "Man arrested outside President Trump's rally in Dallas"
Get FREE Text Alerts
Report It

Latest News

More Local News