The former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Jovanovic said that Donald Trump allegedly put pressure on the State Department to get her resigned. This was announced by the former diplomat during the congressional hearings, which are being held as part of the impeachment proceedings initiated by the Head of the White House.
Democrates accuse Trump of exceeding his powers, allegedly demanding that the Ukrainian authorities facilitate an investigation into the son of the former US Vice President Joe Biden. Experts believe that Trump’s opponents create a negative background around the American leader in order to reduce his chances of being re-elected in 2020.
The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was dismissed from the diplomatic mission in Kiev in May 2019, testified at the U.S. Congress as part of an impeachment procedure that the House of Representatives initiated against President Donald Trump. At a closed meeting on October 11, Jovanovic informed congressmen that Donald Trump had allegedly sought her resignation personally, putting pressure on the State Department. According to Jovanovic, the deputy head of the State Department, John Sullivan, told her about it, the Associated Press reports.
The congressmen from the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives of the US Congress initiated an impeachment process against Donald Trump after the contents of his conversation with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky were made public. Democrats claim that Trump allegedly abused his powers, demanding Zelensky to facilitate an investigation into the son of the former US Vice President Joe Biden.
Democrats praised the performance of Jovanovic, noting that her testimony confirms the unscrupulous motives of the US President.
“It’s obvious to me that she was fired because she interfered with those who wanted to use the Ukrainian government for their own political and financial benefits, including President Trump”, – the Associated Press quotes the words of New York State Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.
Note that the scandal surrounding the publication of Trump’s negotiations with Zelensky was followed by a series of resignations of State Department functionaries who oversaw relations with Ukraine. At the end of September, the US Special Representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, was the first to resign, and on October 11 it became known that one of the chief advisers to the Secretary of State, Michael McKinley, left his post.
According to the expert of the International Institute for Humanitarian and Political Studies Volodymyr Bruter, the Democrats will try to use the statement of Jovanovic about his resignation under Trump’s pressure as evidence that the President illegally intervened in the Ukrainian situation.
“However, the US President has every right to seek the resignation of the ambassador. Moreover, the US State Department can recall the ambassador at any time and for any reason. Usually, if the ambassador has disagreements with the State Department or the President, he resigns himself, and does not continue to work contrary to the line pursued by the country’s leadership. In this situation, Trump was carrying out his program, which Jovanovic was supposed to obey, but instead she was fulfilling her own”, – the political scientist explained.
Clash of interests
One of the central actors in the domestic political scandal surrounding Trump’s impeachment is his long-time associate and personal lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudolph (Rudi) Giuliani. It is reported that Giuliani himself, a well-known prosecutor in the past, met with representatives of the Zelensky administration several times to find out if former US Vice President Joe Biden was involved in the resignation of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in 2016.
In April 2019, the American political publication The Hill published an investigation according to which the son of former US Vice President Hunter Biden joined the board of directors of Burisma, one of the largest private gas companies in Ukraine, in 2014.
According to The Hill, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine allegedly suspected Hunter Biden of receiving bribes from Burism’s leadership. The head of the department, Viktor Shokin, planned to call Hunter Biden for questioning on the fact of abuse in Burisma and the gas industry of the country, but did not succeed – the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, who was acting at that time, removed him from his post in March 2016.
In January 2018, Biden, speaking at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations (a private American organization in the field of international relations. – RT), recalled this episode. Then, not embarrassed, he said that he delivered an ultimatum to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and the Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, threatening them with the cancellation of credit guarantees for $ 1 billion if the Prosecutor General Shokin is not removed from his post.
In turn, Marie Jovanovic, who served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2016 to 2019, during a hearing in Congress, denied any connection with Hunter Biden.
“I have never met Hunter Biden and never spoken to him either directly or through third parties. At the same time, despite the fact that over the years of serving in the government I met with the former Vice President Biden several times, neither he nor the members of the previous administration have ever directly or indirectly raised the topic of Burisma or Hunter Biden with me”, – provides the text of her statement to the Associated Press.
Konstantin Blokhin, an expert at the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, believes that the American mainstream media controlling the agenda simply ignore Biden’s participation in this story, focusing on the alleged abuse of Trump’s powers.
“The media hate the current President of the United States. They do it out of revenge because Trump has repeatedly accused them of producing fake news and juggling facts”, – Blokhin explained.
At the same time, Vladimir Bruter believes that, most likely, no investigation will be launched against Biden in the United States. Because if Trump decides to initiate it, it will look like an attempt to prosecute the main political opponent and negatively affect his rating, the political scientist explained.
The hunt for Giuliani
Meanwhile, a criminal investigation has been launched in the United States against Rudolf Giuliani, media reported. The New York Times, citing informed sources, said that Manhattan’s federal prosecutors were conducting an audit to find out if Giuliani had violated lobbying laws in the course of his activities concerning Ukraine.
According to one of the sources of the publication, investigators also evaluate the actions of Giuliani, allegedly aimed at the removal from the post of US ambassador to Ukraine Jovanovic.
Giuliani himself, in an interview with the Financial Times, said he was not aware of any investigations into himself, and noted that he continued to act as a lawyer for Donald Trump.
Nevertheless, Jovanovic indirectly accused Giuliani in her testimony to Congress that he was guided by dishonest motives, seeking her removal from the post of head of the diplomatic mission.
“As for Mayor Giuliani, I contacted him only at the minimum level – as far as I remember, only three times. In none of the cases was the issue under consideration. I don’t know why Mr. Giuliani attacks me. However, people whom the press called him business partners could well believe that their personal financial ambitions were hampered by the anti-corruption course we pursued in Ukraine”, – Jovanovic said at a hearing on October 11.
We are talking about businessmen of Ukrainian origin Lev Parnassus and Igor Fruman, recently arrested in the United States and accused of violating laws on campaign finance.
Attempts by Democrats and their allies in the State Department to involve Rudolf Giuliani in the process of impeachment of President Trump are designed to form a negative information agenda around the head of the White House and accuse him of new crimes, Vladimir Bruter believes.
“Giuliani is the President’s personal lawyer, private individual, he is in no way subject to investigation by Congress. Giuliani can only be accused of illegal lobbying abroad, but in the current situation it will be quite difficult to do. Perhaps the Democrats want to demonstrate that he pursued personal commercial and political interests, and then transfer these allegations to Trump. In this situation, this will, of course, not be in favor of the current US President, so he will have to somehow refute these allegations”, – the expert concluded.