White House

Dem Staffer Exchanged Private Emails with Yovanovitch, Contradicting Her Sworn Testimony

Marie Yovanovitch while U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, December 1, 2017 (Gleb Garanich / Reuters)

A Democratic congressional staffer exchanged private emails with former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch two days after the whistleblower complaint that started the impeachment inquiry into President Trump was filed, contradicting Yovanovitch’s sworn testimony, according to emails obtained by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight.

The staffer, Laura Carey, reached out to Yovanovitch at the ambassador’s personal email address, a breach of State Department protocol. Yovanovitch testified before the House Intelligence Committee earlier this month that she passed along staffers’ requests to the Legislative Affairs Office at the State Department and never personally responded to Carey.

However, the emails obtained by Fox show that after Carey sent an email to Yovanovitch on August 14, the former ambassador responded directly to Carey.

“I’m writing to see if you would have time to meet up for a chat — in particular, I’m hoping to discuss some Ukraine-related oversight questions we are exploring,” Carey wrote.

“Thanks for reaching out — and congratulations on your new job,” Yovanovitch wrote to Carey on August 15. “I would love to reconnect and look forward to chatting with you. I have let EUR [Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs] know that you are interested in talking and they will be in touch with you shortly.”

Yovanovitch was called to testify as part of House Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry into the withholding of military aid.

Representative Lee Zeldin (R., N.Y.), who had asked Yovanovitch during her testimony about her contact with Carey, said it was disconcerting that Yovanovitch testified incorrectly regarding her connection with the congressional staffer.

“I would highly suspect that this Democratic staffer’s work was connected in some way to the whistleblower’s effort, which has evolved into this impeachment charade,” Zeldin said. “We do know that the whistleblower was in contact with [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff’s team before the whistleblower had even hired an attorney or filed a whistleblower complaint.”

A House Foreign Affairs Committee spokesman said Carey’s outreach was normal for the situation.

“The committee wanted to hear from an ambassador whose assignment was cut short under unusual circumstances,” the spokesperson said.

President Trump ordered Yovanovitch removed from her post as ambassador to Ukraine in May amid allegations of bias against the President. Yovanovitch has denied all allegations of partisanship and has speculated that she was removed so that someone more friendly to Rudy Giuliani’s business interests in Ukraine could be installed.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.