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Ex-US Ambassador Denies Giving Ukraine ‘Do Not Prosecute List’ in Impeachment Inquiry

© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteFormer U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, arrives on Capitol Hill, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, in Washington
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, arrives on Capitol Hill, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, in Washington - Sputnik International
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The House is holding its second public hearing with former US envoy to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch centring around her ouster which, according to her, is pertinent to the impeachment probe against Trump.

Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch flatly denied allegations that she circulated a list of potential corruption targets in Ukraine that the United States did not want prosecuted, according to testimony at the opening of hearings in the House impeachment probe of President Donald Trump on Friday.

"I want to reiterate first that the allegation that I disseminated a do not prosecute list was a fabrication", Yovanovitch said. "Mr Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general who made that allegation, has acknowledged that the list never existed. I did not tell Mr Lutsenko or other Ukrainian officials who they should or should not prosecute. Instead I advocated the US position that rule of law should prevail."

US President Donald Trump in a series of tweets on Friday criticised former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch’s performance while she was testifying in the impeachment hearing against him. He defended his decision to replace Yovanovitch - appointed by his predecessor Barak Obama - as the US ambassador to Ukraine, where she served from August 2016 until May 2019.

Reacting to the criticism, Yovanovitch said that the tweets by Trump were 'very intimidating', AFP reported.

Nov 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; President Donald J. Trump attends UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports - Sputnik International
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The career diplomat, who joined the US Foreign Service in 1986, was abruptly removed from her post in May. Her ouster was one of several incidents listed in a whistle-blower complaint filed by a CIA officer alleging that Trump withheld foreign assistance from Ukraine in order to pressure the country into investigating his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

On 24 September, US House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry following allegations by an alleged intelligence community whistleblower that Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter during a phone conversation that took place on 25 July. 

Trump called the impeachment hearing a “joke” after the first day of public testimony.

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