Former United States Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch admitted on Friday that she has no knowledge of President Donald Trump accepting bribes nor of the president being involved in any criminal activity.
“Do you have any information regarding the President of the United States accepting any bribes?” asked Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) of former Ambassador Yovanovitch.
“No,” replied Yovanovitch.
“Do you have any information regarding any criminal activity that the President of the United States has been involved with at all?” asked Rep. Stewart.
“No,” answered Yovanovitch.
The former ambassador to Ukraine admitted this on Friday during the second day of the public impeachment hearings.
“Thank you for answering that directly,” said Stewart. “The American people know this is nonsense. The American people know this is unfair. And I have a prediction regarding this.” He went on:
I think that public support for impeachment is actually going to be less when these hearings are over than it is when hearings began, because finally, the American people are going to be able to see the evidence, and they’re going to be able to make their own determination regarding that.
“Now, I want to ask you one thing,” continued Stewart. “You’ve been asked if the president — any president — has the ability to ask his ambassadors to serve at will. I’m curious, do you think that’s the right policy?
“Yeah, I probably think it is,” responded Yovanovitch.
“I do as well,” said Stewart. “It may be imperfect, there may be times when it’s not used perfectly, but I agree with you, it is the right policy. I don’t think that we should change that.”
“Now, I would like to read from some previous statements, including one of your own — as well as others — regarding the appropriateness of investigating corruption in the U.K.,” he added.
From Ms. Fiona Hill, “So again, the fact that their investigations in the corruptions in the energy sector in Ukraine, as well as in Russia and in many other countries, is not a surprise.” From yourself, your previous testimony, question, was it that the general understanding that Burisma was a company that suffered from allegations of corruption? Your answer was, “Yes.” From Ambassador Sondland, “I just am generally aware of that Burisma is considered a potentially corrupt company.”
“Would you agree, then, that it’s appropriate to investigate corruption?” asked Rep. Stewart. Yovanovitch replied:
I think it’s appropriate if it’s part of our national strategy. What I would say is that we have a process for doing that. It’s called the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. We have one with Ukraine, and generally it goes from our Department of Justice to the Ministry of Justice of the country of interest.
I appreciate that. Regardless of the process, it’s appropriate for us to investigate potential corruption. And especially, look, we’re about to give some of these countries hundreds of millions of dollars.
We mentioned earlier that the vice president, when he went to the Ukraine and called for the specific firing of a specific prosecutor, that he was completing official U.S. Policy.
But the interesting thing is this. The vice president had exactly two countries that were his responsibility at that time, China and the Ukraine. And he has bragged and been very proud about his influence in the previous administration. He says, again and again, that the Obama Administration listened to him, so it doesn’t surprise me that they would be fulfilling a policy that this vice president certainly helped to formulate.
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.
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