WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today sent a letter demanding the State Department immediately brief him about what Secretary Pompeo and the State Department knew regarding any threats to the safety of U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. The Senator’s letter follows the release of new evidence as part of the House impeachment investigation. The evidence includes threatening text messages from Rudy Giuliani’s associates suggesting they had Ambassador Yovanovitch under close surveillance in Ukraine.
In his letter, Ranking Member Menendez demands the Trump Administration come clean in outlining the steps it has taken to ensure Ambassador Yovanovitch’s safety and the safety of all U.S. personnel stationed in Kyiv. Menendez also cites two recent letters that he sent to the State Department regarding the safety of officials who honored their oath to the Constitution and testified before the House of Representatives during the impeachment probe. Both letters have gone unanswered by the Trump Administration. Those letters can be found HERE and HERE.
A copy of Senator Menendez’s letter can be found HERE.
Assistant Secretary Evanoff:
Documents released last night indicate that Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch may have been under surveillance, possibly by the direction of U.S. persons while she served at her post in Kyiv. Based on text messages produced by Lev Parnas to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, it appears that she was under close physical and electronic surveillance, and that individuals linked to the President’s personal agent, Rudy Giuliani, may have been involved.
These disturbing messages indicate that Ambassador Yovanovitch’s movements may have been closely tracked, for at a minimum, over a series of days in late March 2019. Notably, this was the same time frame that a packet of disinformation, the contents of which smeared Ambassador Yovanovitch, made its way into the hands of senior officials at the State Department, including the Secretary, and as a series of articles were published that made false attacks against her.
I demand an immediate briefing and accounting by you and all relevant officials about what the Department knew about any of these efforts to track Ambassador Yovanovitch’s whereabouts while she served in Kyiv, including Embassy officials and the Regional Security Officer at post; what steps the Department took at the time to ensure her safety; and the steps it has taken since then to ensure her safety and the safety of all U.S. personnel stationed in Kyiv.
I also find it disturbing that the Department has failed to address any of the concerns I raised in two prior letters I sent in November 2019 regarding the safety of officials who testified before Congress. I trust that you will treat this request with utmost urgency, and swiftly respond to this as well as my prior requests regarding the safety and security of Department employees.