In February, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine — a 33-year career diplomat who had served presidents of both parties — received a blunt warning.
“Watch your back,” Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch said she was told by Ukraine’s interior minister.
The Ukrainian official relayed that a pair of Florida businessmen and a Kyiv prosecutor with whom Yovanovitch had clashed were working to oust her from the post she had held since 2016, she later told House investigators.
The trio had a powerful ally, he added: President Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani.
“I thought it was exceedingly strange,” Yovanovitch said, according to a transcript of her closed-door testimony last month.
The impeachment inquiry has pulled back the curtain on a long and murky effort to engineer the ambassador’s removal — one driven by an array of figures whose motives are still not fully understood. They include a former U.S. congressman-turned-lobbyist, a then-sitting member of Congress and the two Giuliani associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who have since been charged with campaign finance crimes. [Continue reading…]