In a new Op-Ed for the Washington Post, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who testified against President Trump during the House impeachment trial, warns against the U.S. turning into one that blindly follows dictatorships and silences those who stand up to government.
We must not allow the United States to become a country where standing up to our government is a dangerous act. It has been shocking to experience the storm of criticism, lies and malicious conspiracies that have preceded and followed my public testimony, but I have no regrets.
Per Inquisitr, Witness and former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch reportedly lied under oath when she gave her testimony as part of the impeachment probe into Donald Trump. Yovanovitch, who was fired by the president in May, reportedly exchanged private emails with a congressional staffer two days following the whistleblower complaint that sparked the impeachment inquiry, contradicting Yovanovitch’s testimony.
Yovanovitch reportedly said during her closed-door testimony that she received an email from Laura Carey, a Democrat House Foreign Affairs Committee staffer, in her personal email, which is a breach of State Department protocol. After Carey requested a talk, Yovanovitch said she alerted the State Department, Breitbart reports.
“So she emailed me. I alerted the State Department and, you know, asked them to handle the correspondence. And she emailed me again and said, you know, who should I be in touch with?” she said.
Yovanovitch was pressed about what the staffer wanted to talk about, and she claimed to believe it was about the circumstances of her departure, although she highlighted that it could possibly be just to “catch up.”
Yahoo News reports that the contents of the email, obtained by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, reveal that Yovanovitch responded directly to Carey — in conflict with her testimony.
“Thanks for reaching out — and congratulations on your new job,” Yovanovitch wrote, adding that she would “love to reconnect” with Carey.
Here's the specific exchange between Yovanovitch and @RepLeeZeldin, in which Yovanovitch clearly denies ever responding to the Democratic House committee staffer: "I didn't respond to that e-mail, because I had already transferred everything to [State]." https://t.co/4z4BNGQQbW pic.twitter.com/hp3uSG8NTo
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) November 8, 2019
Per TheHill, Yovanovitch recalled how she and other civil servants spoke out last year when they believed the Trump administration was committing wrongdoing in its dealings with Ukraine.
She added that they also testified before Congress because they believed that speaking up about impropriety is the “American way.”
After nearly 34 years working in the State Department, Yovanovitch retired last month. Her departure came months after she was recalled from her role as the ambassador to Ukraine following a targeted campaign from President Trump and his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
She testified before lawmakers in November that Giuliani and his associates had orchestrated an effort to push her out of her position, alleging that they were behind unfounded attacks against her.
From Marie Yovanovitch:
After nearly 34 years working for the State Department, I said goodbye to a career that I loved. It is a strange feeling to transition from decades of communicating in the careful words of a diplomat to a person free to speak exclusively for myself.
What I’d like to share with you is an answer to a question so many have asked me: What do the events of the past year mean for our country’s future?
It was an honor for me to represent the United States abroad because, like many immigrants, I have a keen understanding of what our country represents. In a leap of optimism and faith, my parents made their way from the wreckage of post-World War II Europe to America, knowing in their hearts that this country would give me a better life. They rested their hope, not in the possibility of prosperity, but in a strong democracy: a country with resilient institutions, a government that sought to advance the interests of its people, and a society in which freedom was cherished and dissent protected. These are treasures that must be carefully guarded by all who call themselves Americans.
When civil servants in the current administration saw senior officials taking actions they considered deeply wrong in regard to the nation of Ukraine, they refused to take part. When Congress asked us to testify about those activities, my colleagues and I did not hesitate, even in the face of administration efforts to silence us.
We did this because it is the American way to speak up about wrongdoing. I have seen dictatorships around the world, where blind obedience is the norm and truth-tellers are threatened with punishment or death. We must not allow the United States to become a country where standing up to our government is a dangerous act. It has been shocking to experience the storm of criticism, lies and malicious conspiracies that have preceded and followed my public testimony, but I have no regrets. I did — we did — what our conscience called us to do. We did what the gift of U.S. citizenship requires us to do.
Unfortunately, the last year has shown that we need to fight for our democracy. “Freedom is not free” is a pithy phrase that usually refers to the sacrifices of our military against external threats. It turns out that same slogan can be applied to challenges which are closer to home. We need to stand up for our values, defend our institutions, participate in civil society and support a free press. Every citizen doesn’t need to do everything, but each one of us can do one thing. And every day, I see American citizens around me doing just that: reanimating the Constitution and the values it represents. We do this even when the odds seem against us, even when wrongdoers seem to be rewarded, because it is the right thing to do.
I had always thought that our institutions would forever protect us against individual transgressors. But it turns out that our institutions need us as much as we need them; they need the American people to protect them or they will be hollowed out over time, unable to serve and protect our country.
The State Department is filled with individuals of integrity and professionalism. They advance U.S. interests every day — whether they are repatriating Americans vulnerable to a pandemic, reporting on civil unrest, negotiating military basing rights or helping a U.S. company navigate a foreign country. As new powers rise, alliances fray, and transnational threats require international solutions, our diplomats are more than ready to address these challenges.
But our public servants need responsible and ethical political leadership. This administration, through acts of omission and commission, has undermined our democratic institutions, making the public question the truth and leaving public servants without the support and example of ethical behavior that they need to do their jobs and advance U.S. interests.
The next generation of diplomats is counting on something better. Our newest diplomats fill me with hope. They are smart, motivated and idealistic — and yet realistic about the unprecedented challenges facing the United States. While it is bittersweet to retire from a job that I love, I know there is a new generation of experts who will advance our interests in an increasingly dangerous world.
Read more here.