Marie Yovanovitch’s Unchallenged False Testimony

Despite contrary reporting from John Solomon and the New York Times, former United States Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on November 15, 2019 that a Ukrainian prosecutor recanted his previous statement that she had identified Ukrainians she did not want to see investigated and prosecuted.  You can see her testimony here at 1:15:00 to 1:15:20 in the video.  She did this under questioning from Democratic Counsel Daniel Goldman.

Solomon published an article, with linked documentation, on November 13, 2019 discussing how, while she was ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch told a Ukranian prosecutor the identity of Ukranians she did not want to see investigated and prosecuted.  Solomon wrote:

I . . . secured an interview in mid-March 2016 with Ukraine’s then top prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko.  In the interview that was videotaped and released for the whole world to see, Lutsenko alleged that in his first meeting in 2016 with Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador conveyed the names of several Ukrainians she did not want to see investigated and prosecuted.  He called it, colloquially, a “do not prosecute list.” [snip]

A Ukrainian news outlet claimed Lutsenko recanted his claim about the “do-not-prosecute” list.  I called Lutsenko and he denied recanting or even changing his story.  He gave me this very detailed response standing by his statements.

But American officials and news media eager to discredit my reporting piled on, many quoting the Ukrainian outlet without ever contacting Lutsenko to see if it was true.  One of the American outlets that did contact Lutsenko, the New York Times, belatedly disclosed today that Lutsenko told it, like he told me, that he stood by his allegation that the ambassador had provided him names of people and groups she did not want to be targeted by prosecutors.  You can read that here.

The New York Times article dated November 12, 2019 referenced by Solomon states:

In an interview with The New York Times last month, Mr. Lutsenko blamed the confusion on the interpreter who handled his interview with The Hill.  But he insisted that the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, had in fact asked him not to target certain politicians and activists who worked with the embassy on its anti-corruption efforts.

It is one thing for Yovanovitch to dispute Lutsenko’s account of their conversation.  It is quite another for Yovanovitch to falsely state under oath that Lutsenko has recanted his version of the conversation, and to do so with the help of Goldman, who should be reported to the appropriate bar associations.

None of the Republicans questioned Yovanovitch about her false testimony or confronted Goldman with his role in the deception.

Photo credit: YouTube screen grab

Allan J. Favish is an attorney in Los Angeles.  His website is  James Fernald and Mr. Favish have co-authored a book about what might happen if the government ran Disneyland, entitled "Fireworks! If the Government Ran the Fairest Kingdom of Them All (A Very Unauthorized Fantasy).

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