by WorldTribune Staff, October 17, 2019
The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who was recalled from her post in May, reportedly ordered subordinates to monitor the social media accounts of prominent conservative journalists and supporters of President Donald Trump, a government watchdog group said.
Judicial Watch revealed in an Oct. 15 press release that it is “investigating if prominent conservative figures, journalists and persons with ties” to Trump “were unlawfully monitored by the State Department in Ukraine at the request of ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, an Obama appointee.”
Yovanovitch testified “in secret” to the House impeachment inquiry against Trump on Oct. 11. Her “secret” testimony was leaked to the New York Times during the hearing.
Judicial Watch reported that it has “obtained information indicating Yovanovitch may have violated laws and government regulations by ordering subordinates to target certain U.S. persons using State Department resources.”
Yovanovitch reportedly ordered the monitoring with the search terms: Biden, Giuliani, Soros and Yovanovitch.
Prior to being recalled as ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch reportedly created a list of individuals who were to be monitored. The list included: Jack Posobiec, Donald Trump Jr., Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Michael McFaul (Obama’s ambassador to Russia), Dan Bongino, Ryan Saavedra, Rudy Giuliani, Sebastian Gorka, John Solomon, Lou Dobbs, Pamella Geller, and Sara Carter.
“This is not an obscure rule, everyone in public diplomacy or public affairs knows they can’t make lists and monitor U.S. citizens unless there is a major national security reason,” a senior State Department official said.
Yovanovitch, a career diplomat who has also led American embassies in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, was appointed ambassador to Ukraine by Obama in 2016. She was recalled by the State Department in May and remains a State Department employee in Washington D.C.
In an interview on America First with Sebastian Gorka, Judicial Watch’s Chris Farrell described Yovanovitch as an “absolute Obama partisan.” Farrell said Judicial Watch has “very reliable information” that the State Department was “basically running a war room” by “documenting, capturing, archiving all the statements, publications, tweets, social media, anything that those folks put out was ordered to be compiled and monitored.”
Farrell said Yovanovitch’s actions amounted to an “abuse of power” and he described it as a “political operative using their government position as leverage against their political opponents.”
In testimony to House impeachment investigators, Yovanovitch said there was a “concerted campaign” against her based on “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”
Yovanovitch testified behind closed doors on Friday for more than nine hours. Democrats who were at the secret session lauded Yovanovitch as “courageous.”
Republicans said that Trump’s lawyers should be able to attend the hearings and cross examine witnesses. “This process is a joke, and the consequences are huge,” said New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio defended the ouster of Yovanovitch, saying the president is entitled to have the ambassador he wants.