The Foreign Service Journal, November 2019

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | NOVEMBER 2019 15 and loss of many of this nation’s most loyal and talented public servants. It also will come when those diplomats who sol- dier on and do their best to represent our nation face partners abroad who question whether the ambassador truly speaks for the President and can be counted upon as a reliable partner. The harm will come when private interests circumvent profes- sional diplomats for their own gain, not the public good. The harm will come when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine see how easy it is to use fiction and innu- endo to manipulate our system. In such circumstances, the only interests that will be served are those of our strategic adversaries, like Russia, that spread chaos and attack the institutions and norms that the U.S. helped create and which we have benefited from for the last 75 years. I am proud of my work in Ukraine. The U.S. Embassy, under my leadership, represented and advanced the policies of the United States government as articu- lated, first by the Obama Administration and then by the Trump Administration. Our efforts were intended, and evidently succeeded, in thwarting corrupt interests in Ukraine, who fought back by selling baseless conspiracy theories to anyone who would listen. Sadly, someone was listening, and our nation is the worse off for that. Thank you for your attention. I welcome your questions. TALKING POINTS I have served this nation honorably for more than 30 years. I have proudly promoted and served American interests as the representative of the American people and six different presidents over the last three decades. Throughout that time, I—like my colleagues at the State Department—have always believed that we enjoyed a sacred trust with our government. We make a difference every day on issues that matter to the American peo- ple—whether it is war and peace, trade and investment, or simply helping with a lost passport. We repeatedly uproot our lives, and we frequently put ourselves in harm’s way to serve this nation. And we do that willingly, because we believe in America and its special role in the world. We also believe that, in return, our gov- ernment will have our backs and protect us if we come under attack from foreign interests. That basic understanding no lon- ger holds true. Today, we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within. State Department leader- ship, 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. That harm will come not just through the inevitable and continuing resignation House Launches Impeachment Inquiry O n Sept. 24, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced that the House of Representatives is pursuing a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. “The president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politi- cally,” Pelosi said. “The actions of the Trump presidency revealed dishonor- able facts of betrayal of his oath of office and betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elec- tions.” On Sept. 26, in response to a whistle- blower complaint from an unidentified intelligence official, the White House released a summary transcript of a July 25 phone call in which President Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 30 that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listened in on the call, which Pompeo later acknowledged. The whistleblower also alleged that White House officials misused a highly classified database to store transcripts of phone calls between the president and world leaders that might be politically troubling to the president. NBC News reported Sept. 26 that former and cur- rent intelligence officers told them that such misuse, if true, should spark an investigation. President Trump lashed out at the whistleblower and sources the whistle- blower spoke with Sept. 26 at a private event in New York City. “I want to know who’s the person … who gave the whistle- blower the information? Because that’s close to a spy,” the president said. “You know what we used to do in the old days For the Record Excerpts from Opening Statement of Marie L. Yovanovitch to the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Committee on Oversight and Reform, Oct. 11, 2019