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Ambassador Yovanovitch needed to be replaced

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Ambassador Yovanovitch needed to be replaced

Ambassador Yovanovitch needed to be replaced
November 06
14:18 2019

It is amazing the extent to which the #NeverTrump Resistance Movement will go to make normal actions seem not only reprehensible but criminal.  Take the case of America’s former United States Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch — who is behaving more like a disgruntled employee than a professional diplomat.

She is the focus of a narrative being packaged by deep state establishmentarians within the State Department.  The fact upon which all can agree is that Yovanovitch was removed from her post in Kyiv.  She was not demoted, reprimanded or fired – just reassigned.

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According to her narrative, her removal was at the behest of President Trump’s attorney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani – acting as a representative-without-portfolio of the President.  According to her testimony, Yovanovitch was warned to “watch her back” by an unnamed official of the Ukrainian government.

In response to a question from a Democrat member of the Intelligence Committee, Yovanovitch said she felt threatened by the President.  To hype this bit of melodrama, Yovanovitch further claimed that folks in Kyiv were concerned over her physical safety – and that she should get out of town asap.

The treatment of Yovanovitch — and the involvement of Giuliani in Ukrainian affairs – is reported to have led to the resignation and testimony of other disenchanted career diplomats.

To hear them tell it, the events have all the earmarks of a James Bond thriller.  But there is another way to look at all these events – a way that may be a lot closer to reality.

First of all, the President – or even the Secretary of State – has the right to remove or re-assign ambassadors at will.  They do not require any reason or justification.  Ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the President … period.

It is not unusual for private citizens to engage in foreign affairs – dealing directly with foreign government officials or coordinating with our own ambassadors to achieve various objectives.  In representing clients in China, I have met with American diplomats and Chinese officials to achieve certain objectives on numerous occasions.

Past presidents have used personal emissaries in an ex officio capacity.  Jesse Jackson was used by past presidents to negotiate the release of hostages in the Middle East outside of the so-called “normal diplomatic channels.”

One may disapprove of the purpose of Giuliani’s activities – maybe even feel a bit slighted – but there is nothing untoward or particularly unusual about them.  A good ambassador would cooperate, not complain.

It is also not unusual for an ambassador to be replaced when there is a change in the head-of-state – especially if it comes with a significant change in policies and personnel.  That is especially true if the incumbent ambassador is disliked by the new leadership – and that was clearly the case with Yovanovitch.

In the telephone conversation with Trump, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made his dislike of Yovanovitch very clear.  He said:

“It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.

It should also be noted that the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States was replaced by Zelensky.  In the phone conversation, he said:

“For me as a President, it is very important, and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States, and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer.”

Yovanovitch suffered a double fault.  In addition to offending Zelensky, she was less than diplomatic in expressing her contempt for Trump and how he was handling things in Ukraine.  Openly bad mouthing the boss is never a good idea if you are seeking job security.

In short, Yovanovitch was simply not the right person to serve as a go-between for Trump and Zelensky.  She needed to be replaced.  It probably would not have attracted much attention had a clique of establishment diplomats not conflated the need to replace Yovanovitch with an apparent desire to promote the partisan impeachment process.

Yes … it is true … Trump did go around some of the diplomatic establishment as a means to achieve certain goals, but that is his right.  He was elected President of the United States – and all those whiners in the State Department work for him … his policies … his agenda.  If they cannot do that, they need to resign – which a couple of them appropriately did.

What IS inappropriate is for the Democrats and the media to incorporate the replacement of Yovanovitch into their impeachment inquiry.  The circumstances of her removal as Ukrainian ambassador, her watercooler complaints about Giuliani and her testimony before the Intelligence Committee provides nothing relative to impeachment.

Rather than adding more grist for the impeachment mill, these outrageous tactics denigrate the process – even more than it is.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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