Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, is testifying before the House today in a closed-door session. Yovanovitch’s abrupt dismissal in May is listed in the whistleblower complaint as one of the disturbing incidents that predated President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian leader. Meanwhile, all eyes are still on Giuliani after two of his associates were indicted on Thursday on campaign finance violations.
Follow along for the latest:
5:20 p.m. ET: The White House accidentally sends its talking points to House Democrats—again.
This appears to be the second time the White House has sent impeachment talking points to House Democrats – this time on Yovanovitch: pic.twitter.com/vv5BeYwqXs
— Ben Siegel (@benyc) October 11, 2019
2:20 p.m. ET: Bad news for one Rudy Guiliani, courtesy of ABC News:
The business relationship between President Donald Trump’s private lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the men charged Thursday in a campaign finance scheme is a subject of the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by federal authorities in New York, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
The investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s New York field office and prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, the same U.S. Attorney’s office Giuliani ran before he became mayor of New York.
12:30 p.m. ET: The full remarks from Yovanovitch’s opening statement are now out. Two key passages:
- I was nevertheless incredulous that the US government chose to remove an Ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.
- Today, we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within. State Department leadership, with Congress, needs to take action now to defend this great institution, and its thousands of loyal and effective employees. We need to rebuild diplomacy as the first resort to advance America’s interests and the front line of America’s defense. I fear that not doing so will harm our nation’s interest, perhaps irreparably.
Read the full statement below:
12:15 p.m. ET: In her opening statement, according to a document obtained by the New York Times, Yovanovitch told lawmakers that the Trump administration recalled her post as US ambassador to Ukraine on “unfounded and false claims.” More from the Times:
In a closed-door deposition that could further fuel calls for Mr. Trump’s impeachment, Ms. Yovanovitch delivered a scathing indictment of his administration’s conduct of foreign policy. She warned that private influence and personal gain have usurped diplomats’ judgment, threatening to undermine the nation’s interests and drive talented professionals out of public service.
JUST IN: Former US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, has arrived on Capitol Hill to testify as part of the impeachment inquiry, despite White House assertion that the Trump admin. would no longer cooperate with the inquiry. pic.twitter.com/yORV3XCyPV
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 11, 2019
10:05 a.m. ET: In impeachment-adjacent news, Trump just lost his appeal to block Democrats’ subpoena for his tax returns.
BREAKING: Trump loses again in court, this time from DC Circuit Court of Appeals in his lawsuit trying to stop the House from issuing a subpoena to get his financial records. pic.twitter.com/urCZTcUmgN
— Darren Samuelsohn (@dsamuelsohn) October 11, 2019
10 a.m. ET: Mother Jones’ Dan Friedman takes a look at the various claims Giuliani has made about Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, his two recently-indicted associates who helped with efforts to dig dirt on Joe Biden:
To review, Trump’s former lawyer, Dowd, and current lawyer, Giuliani, both say they represent Parnas and Fruman. Giuliani says Parnas and Fruman helped him work for Trump seeking dirt on Biden, and that he worked for them on other matters. Also he may have talked about doing a gas deal with Parnas in Uzbekistan. Having trouble tracking all that? It seems like Giuliani is too.
9:40 a.m. ET: Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan comes out in support of the impeachment inquiry. “I’m not ready to say I support impeachment and the removal of the president, but I do think we should have an impeachment inquiry,” he told PBS’s Firing Line.
Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan: "I think we do need an inquiry because we have to get to the bottom of it. I'm not ready to say I support impeachment and the removal of the president but I do think we have to have an impeachment inquiry." pic.twitter.com/GjaBhOUWA1
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) October 11, 2019
7:30 a.m. ET: After the State Department blocked his deposition, US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland will now testify before lawmakers next Thursday.
NEW: Gordon Sondland, the EU ambassador, plans to testify on 10/17, per statement from his lawyers.
"Notwithstanding the State Department’s current direction to not testify, Ambassador Sondland will honor the Committees’ subpoena, and he looks forward to testifying on Thursday." pic.twitter.com/iF0kacYDZn
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) October 11, 2019