State Department officials were shocked by former ambassador to Ukraine's ouster — now they're championing her as 'a hero'

State Department officials were shocked by former ambassador to Ukraine's ouster  — now they're championing her as 'a hero'
Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, Kyiv, Sept 19, 2016

Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, has been feeling the wrath of President Donald Trump and his supporters for cooperating with House Democrats and testifying before Congress on October 11 as part of their impeachment inquiry. But Yovanovitch has plenty of admirers as well. But Abigail Tracy, in an October 14 report for Vanity Fair, stresses that Yovanovitch’s admirers are glad to see her speaking out.

In May, Yovanovitch was removed from her position as U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine — which, according to a source described by Tracy as a “former high-ranking State Department official,” came as a shock to her colleagues in the U.S. State Department.

“Folks were surprised to see a colleague as professional and talented as Masha Yovanovitch asked to leave Ukraine early, but sometimes, that happens,” the source told Vanity Fair. “That sentiment became shock, horror and outrage when the presidential phone call came out.”

That “presidential phone call,” of course, is the now infamous July 25 conversation in which Trump, according to a partial transcript of the conversation, asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to help dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Yovanovitch testified last Friday as part of a House impeachment inquiry into Trump.

Another former State Department official, also quoted anonymously, told Vanity Fair, “I am not surprised that Masha did this because she is that sort of person. She is full of integrity and everything, but she did not dial it back at all. I was hoping, hoping, hoping that she would get the chance to testify because I knew that she would be very strong and really be very clear about how disappointing it was to not have the backing of the leadership.”

According to that official, diplomats all over the world are praising Yovanovitch for her willingness to testify before Congress.

“I am getting it from everywhere,” that source told Vanity Fair. “So are all of my friends…. It is huge, it is huge. I mean, she is definitely the hero.”

Tracy, in her article, also quotes a former U.S. ambassador who asserted that some in the State Department are not happy at all with the role that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has played in the Ukraine scandal.

“It is a question of how much longer Pompeo can purport to lead the State Department,” that source told Vanity Fair. And the source added, “This whole Ukraine episode has shown that the goal was to destroy the institution, not to use the institution. I suppose he can continue, divorced from the institution, as long as he wishes.”

The former U.S. ambassador praised Yovanovitch for testifying before the House despite the fact that the Trump Administration tried to bully her into not testifying.

“She didn’t get struck down by a thunderbolt,” the former U.S. ambassador told Vanity Fair. “She was told she wasn’t allowed to testify; she went anyway — and here she is, a hero. I hope that it will just encourage more people to do the right thing.”

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