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What to expect from Marie Yovanovitch’s impeachment hearings testimony

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  • Marie Yovanovitch, the US’s former ambassador to Ukraine, will be the third official to testify in the public impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump.
  • Yovanovitch was abruptly recalled from her position in May following what she characterized as a smear campaign against her by Trump and his longtime lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
  • The former ambassador will testify beginning at 10 a.m. ET on Friday to the House Intelligence Committee.
  • She is expected to vividly detail the shadow campaign Giuliani conducted to strongarm Ukraine into acceding to Trump’s demands for politically motivated investigations.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The public will hear on Friday from one of the most significant witnesses to President Donald Trump’s shadow foreign policy campaign in Ukraine.

Marie Yovanovitch served as the US’s ambassador to Ukraine until she was abruptly recalled in May following what she characterized as a smear campaign against her based on “false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”

Yovanovitch’s testimony is expected to throw the spotlight on Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer who is accused of engineering her ouster.

Yovanovitch testified behind closed doors that Trump and Giuliani wanted her removed since the summer of 2018 because she refused to let Giuliani use the US embassy in Ukraine in his efforts to obtain political dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

She said she felt “shocked” and “threatened” by the attacks leveled against her.

Yovanovitch also told Congress a top State Department official confirmed to her that she was recalled in May despite having “done nothing wrong.”

Multiple other witnesses, including Bill Taylor, the US’s chief envoy in Ukraine, and George Kent, a senior State Department official, have corroborated Yovanovitch’s claims.

Yovanovitch raised concerns about Giuliani before her ouster with senior State Department officials but despite having their own concerns, they didn’t think they could stop him. After Yovanovitch was recalled, the acting Assistant Secretary of State Philip T. Reeker told her Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “was no longer able to” protect her from Trump.

Michael McKinley, who served as a top deputy to Pompeo, quit a few days before his testimony to Congress because of the State Department’s unwillingness to issue a statement supporting Yovanovitch. He also testified that several department employees had their careers derailed for political reasons.

Several government officials, including Taylor and Kent, have already testified to Congress behind closed doors, and their revelations paint a damaging portrait of a concerted effort across the administration to leverage US foreign policy to pressure Ukraine into acceding to Trump’s demands.

Specifically, the president wanted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to make a public statement committing to investigate the Bidens and a bogus conspiracy theory suggesting it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election.

Officials also outlined the lengths White House officials went to in order to conceal records of a July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky.

Witnesses have testified that five men were part of an effort to condition security assistance to Ukraine and a White House meeting on Zelensky publicly announcing the investigations Trump wanted.

The men are Giuliani, the US’s ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, the former Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker, the acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and outgoing energy secretary Rick Perry.

The president’s defenders say he did nothing wrong and that this is a normal part of how diplomacy and foreign policy are conducted.

But national security veterans, legal scholars, and at times Trump’s own officials who have testified have suggested his actions open him up to a variety of potential charges including abuse of power, bribery, extortion, misappropriation of taxpayer funds, and soliciting foreign interference in the upcoming election.

How to watch Yovanovitch testify

Yovanovitch will testify to the House Intelligence Committee as part of its public impeachment hearings beginning at 10 a.m. ET on Friday. The hearing will be broadcast live on the major cable news networks and C-SPAN. It will also be streamed live on YouTube. Insider will embed a livestream of the hearing when it begins on Friday.

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