Democratic senators press Pompeo for answers on dismissal of ambassador to Ukraine

Democratic senators press Pompeo for answers on dismissal of ambassador to Ukraine
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Ten Democratic senators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wrote to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoErdoğan got the best of Trump, experts warn Graham: I'm seeking to make Trump successful 'but not at all costs' Ex-Watergate prosecutor says evidence in impeachment inquiry 'clearly' points to Trump MORE Thursday seeking answers on the May removal of then-ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

The senators, led by Ranking Member Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezPaul blocks Senate vote on House-passed Syria resolution House to vote on resolution condemning Trump's Syria pullback Rand Paul calls for probe of Democrats over Ukraine letter MORE (D-N.J.), asked Pompeo not to “impede” Yovanovitch’s upcoming deposition to Congress and shield her from any possible retaliation.

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The letter accused Pompeo of remaining silent amid a “smear campaign” of Yovanovitch by figures including President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview MORE, his son Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpDem committee chairs blast Trump G-7 announcement Donald Trump Jr. hits back at critics over hypocrisy claims Kentucky governor's race tied: poll MORE and his personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani asked State Dept. to grant visa for ex-Ukraine official at center of Biden allegations: report Overnight Energy: Trump taps deputy energy secretary to replace Perry | Praises pick Dan Brouillette as 'total professional' | Perry denies quid pro quo over Ukraine Ex-Watergate prosecutor says evidence in impeachment inquiry 'clearly' points to Trump MORE.

It further claims Pompeo has refused to publicly support State Department personnel amid Trump’s ongoing attacks on the unnamed whistleblower whose complaint about his July call with Ukraine’s president led the House to launch an impeachment inquiry.

“As the head of our country’s global diplomatic force, your refusal to stand up for career employees and support whistleblowers is disturbing,” the letter states. “It is incumbent on you not to further the President’s damaging and unfounded attacks, but to send a simple message to everyone who works at the Department of State—you have their backs.”

The letter also asked Pompeo about specific remarks Trump made in the July 25 call, including referring to Yovanovitch as “bad news,” and for an explanation of why she was removed early and whether Trump or Giuliani gave him specific instructions regarding Yovanovitch.

The letter came the same day as the announcement that two Florida businessmen and associates of Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, have been indicted in connection with campaign finance violations.

Parnas and Fruman also allegedly lobbied an unnamed former congressman to get Yovanovitch fired. Details of the indictment align with contributions to former Rep. Pete SessionsPeter Anderson SessionsFourth defendant in Giuliani associate case taken into custody at New York airport The Hill's Morning Report - Dem debate contenders take aim at Warren Former GOP lawmaker Pete Sessions subpoenaed over dealings with Giuliani associates MORE (R-Texas), who has denied any wrongdoing.