Former Ukraine U.S. Ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, communicated with a Democratic congressional staffer with her personal email account, a breach of State Department protocol, which pertained to a “quite delicate” and “time-sensitive” matter two days after the whistleblower complaint was filed, and a month before the complaint became public.
The emails appear to contradict Yovanovitch’s deposition on Capitol Hill last month, in which she told U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) about an email she received Aug. 14 from the staffer, Laura Carey — but indicated under oath that she never responded to it, as reported by Fox News.
The communication came “from the Foreign Affairs Committee,” and “they wanted me to come in and talk about, I guess, the circumstances of my departure” in May as ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch testified, as she described the congressional staffer’s initial email. “I alerted the State Department, because I’m still an employee, and so, matters are generally handled through the State Department.”
“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?'” Yovanovitch continued.
When asked directly whether she replied to the staffer, Yovanovitch testified that only someone in the “Legislative Affairs Office” at the State Department had responded to Carey, to the best of her knowledge.
Yovanovitch did not indicate that she had responded to Carey’s first email in any way and testified that she did not reply to Carey’s follow-up email concerning whom she should contact at the State Department. However, emails showed that in fact, Yovanovitch had responded to Carey’s initial Aug. 14 email, writing that she “would love to reconnect and look forward to chatting with you,” as per Fox News. (Continued Below)
“I’m writing to see if you would have time to meet up for a chat — in particular, I’m hoping to discuss some Ukraine-related oversight questions we are exploring,” Carey then wrote to Yovanovitch. “I’d appreciate the chance to ground-truth a few pieces of information with you, some of which are quite delicate/time-sensitive and, thus, we want to make sure we get them right.”
“Thanks for reaching out — and congratulations on your new job,” Yovanovitch wrote to Carey on August 15. “I would love to reconnect and look forward to chatting with you. I have let EUR [Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs] know that you are interested in talking and they will be in touch with you shortly.”
Representative Lee Zeldin, who had asked Yovanovitch during her testimony about her contact with Laura Carey, said it was “greatly concerning” that Yovanovitch testified incorrectly regarding her connection with the congressional staffer. (Video Below)
Congressman Zeldin posted a video of Fox News’ host Tucker Carlson, who obtained the emails, and he also posted part of the transcript where he asked Yovanovitch about the Democratic staffer and email.
“It appears Ambassador Yovanovitch did not accurately answer this question I asked her during her ‘impeachment inquiry’ deposition under oath,” Rep. Zeldin wrote.
It appears Ambassador Yovanovitch did not accurately answer this question I asked her during her “impeachment inquiry” deposition under oath. https://t.co/2Ju420Pkpb pic.twitter.com/WACsyksMzW
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) November 8, 2019
From Fox News:
“I would highly suspect that this Democratic staffer’s work was connected in some way to the whistleblower’s effort, which has evolved into this impeachment charade,” Zeldin said. “We do know that the whistleblower was in contact with [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff’s team before the whistleblower had even hired an attorney or filed a whistleblower complaint even though Schiff had lied to the public originally claiming that there was no contact. Additionally, while the contents of the email from this staffer to Ambassador Yovanovitch clearly state what the conversation would be regarding, Yovanovitch, when I asked her specifically what the staffer was looking to speak about, did not provide these details.”
Zeldin added: “I specifically asked her whether the Democratic staffer was responded to by Yovanovitch or the State Department. It is greatly concerning that Ambassador Yovanovitch didn’t answer my question as honestly as she should have, especially while under oath.”
(Related: After The Impeachment Resolution Vote, Rep Zeldin Slams Democrats For “Ripping The Country In Half”)