Former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch retires

A source said Marie Yovanovitch retired within the past two weeks. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

FEB. 1 (UPI) — Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who said there was a smear campaign to have her dismissed last year, has retired from her 33-year career as a diplomat, sources with knowledge of the development said Friday.

NPR was the first to report on her retirement, citing unnamed sources.

It’s unclear how long ago Yovanovitch retired from the State Department, but a source told CNN it’s been within the past two weeks.

The State Department recalled her from Ukraine in April, though she remained employed by the department. Her dismissal has figured into the impeachment of Trump, who discussed her with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July phone conversation that ultimately prompted the probe.

According to a transcript of the call, Trump told Zelensky that Yovanovitch was “bad news.”

“She’s going to go through some things,” the U.S. president said.

Yovanovitch testified during the impeachment inquiry in October there had been a smear campaign against her, leading to her ouster as ambassador.

She said a State Department employee told her “there had been a concerted campaign against me, and that the Department had been under pressure from the President to remove me since the summer of 2018.”

“He also said that I had done nothing wrong and that this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause.”

She said she was disappointed with how events unfolded and the resignations of so many federal employees.

“Today, we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within,” she said. “State Department leadership, with Congress, needs to take action now to defend this great institution, and its thousands of loyal and effective employees.”

Yovanovitch later accused Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, of running an irregular channel of communication with Ukraine.


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