Yovanovitch: ‘I do not understand Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me’

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch said Friday that she did not understand Rudy Giuliani’s “motives for attacking me.”

Yovanovitch’s remarks in her opening statement to the House Intelligence Committee were directed at Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, and his push to get her removed from her post.

“I do not understand Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me, nor can I offer an opinion on whether he believed the allegations he spread about me,” the career foreign service official said. “Clearly, no one at the State Department did.”

“What I can say is that Mr.Giuliani should have known those claims were suspect, coming as they reportedly did from individuals with questionable motives and with reason to believe that their political and financial ambitions would be stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine,” she concluded. 

Yovanovitch also testified that she was abruptly asked to return to the United States from Ukraine in late May and was told that Trump “had been pushing for my removal since the prior summer.”

George Kent, a senior State Department official, told House impeachment investigators last month in closed-door testimony that Giuliani had been “carrying on a campaign for several months full of lies and incorrect information about Ambassador Yovanovitch, so this was a continuation of his campaign of lies.”

“I believe that Mr. Giuliani, as a U.S. citizen, has First Amendment rights to say whatever he wants, but he’s a private citizen. His assertions and allegations against former Ambassador Yovanovitch were without basis [and] untrue — period,” Kent said according to a transcript released by House Democrats. 

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