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Giuliani Says He Told Trump Yovanovitch was Impeding Investigations

Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, testifies before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2019. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, said Monday that he told Trump that the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine was hampering investigations that could benefit the president politically.

Giuliani said he informed Trump “a couple of times” about Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s chilling effect on investigations into former vice president Joe Biden as well as potential Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election.

Trump had Giuliani discuss the issue with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Yovanovitch was dismissed shortly thereafter and told Trump had lost confidence in her.

Yovanovitch testified as much last month during the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings, accusing Giuliani of working with corrupt Ukrainian-American business associates to have her recalled from her post. Giuliani previously said he had worked with Soviet-born businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman in his push for Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

“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 a U.S. ambassador,” Yovanovitch told lawmakers. “How could our system fail like this? How is it that foreign, corrupt interests could manipulate our government?”

During Trump’s now infamous July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which sparked the impeachment inquriy against him, Trump described Yovanovitch as “bad news.”

“Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” Trump wrote on Twitter during the former ambassador’s congressional testimony.

The new information about how much Trump allegedly knew about Yovanovitch’s ouster comes as the House readies a Wednesday vote to impeach the president. Last week, House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler announced two articles of impeachment against Trump, accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The White House has continuously denied charges that the president engaged in a quid pro quo with Ukraine involving delayed U.S. military aid to Ukraine since chief of staff Mick Mulvaney admitted as much during a press conference last month.

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