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Top diplomats to testify before Congress despite opposition from State Dept., White House

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Key ambassadors at center of Ukraine probe to testify despite Pompeo, White House opposition

Two diplomats at the center of the Ukraine controversy are now set to testify before House lawmakers as part of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, despite significant pushback from both the State Department and the White House.

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. envoy to Kiev and someone President Trump has privately called “bad news,” is scheduled to sit for a potentially explosive transcribed interview with lawmakers and staff on Capitol Hill on Friday — although it was not a certainty that she would appear.


Trump and his allies have sought to paint Yovanovitch as a rogue employee with an anti-Trump bias. She was ousted in May amid alleged attempts by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani to press Ukraine into investigating Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.  Those efforts ultimately led to the impeachment inquiry after the revelation of a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — in which Trump asked the premier to “look into” the allegations about Biden’s conduct in the country.

While Yovanovitch, a long-time diplomat, has been praised by her colleagues as a “top-notch diplomat,” Trump depicted her in the call with Zelensky as “bad news” and someone who is “going to go through some things.” Giuliani and other critics have accused her of working to undermine Trump’s interests.

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