Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Trump impeachment: Giuliani contacted Pompeo before Ukraine ambassador was ousted, documents reveal

Papers suggest president’s lawyer may have been behind smear campaign against Marie Yovanovitch

Colin Drury
Saturday 23 November 2019 11:39 GMT
Trump says 'I do want always corruption' amid string of barely coherent outbursts in wild Fox News interview

Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani was in contact with secretary of state Mike Pompeo in the months before the US ambassador to Ukraine was abruptly recalled, newly released documents show.

Mr Pompeo talked with Mr Giuliani on 26 March and then again three days later, the State Department papers indicate.

The revelation could be interpreted as evidence Mr Giuliani was behind a campaign to discredit and then remove ambassador Marie Yovanovitch from her post.

The 61-year-old – who was eventually withdrawn in May – is now a key witness at the president’s impeachment hearing over his dealings with Kiev. She told investigators last week that she felt “kneecapped” by Mr Giuliani in the weeks before her dismissal.

The newly-published documents were released by the State Department to the group American Oversight in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Austin Evers, executive director of the group, said on Friday that they reveal “a clear paper trail from Rudy Giuliani to the Oval Office to Secretary Pompeo to facilitate Giuliani’s smear campaign against a US ambassador”.

The documents also include a report that appears to summarise a meeting between Mr Giuliani and Ukraine’s former prosecutor general, Victor Shokin, on 23 January.

The summary says Mr Giuliani’s two business associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were also present.

Mr Parnas and Mr Fruman were arrested last month on charges including conspiracy, making false statements to the Federal Election Commission and falsification of records.

Both had key roles in Mr Giuliani’s efforts to launch a Ukrainian corruption investigation against Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

In the document, Mr Shokin claims he was removed from his position under pressure from Mr Biden.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in