Engel demands State Department documents regarding 'threats' to Yovanovitch security after release of Parnas documents

Engel demands State Department documents regarding 'threats' to Yovanovitch security after release of Parnas documents
© Greg Nash

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOvernight Defense: Army says it isn't investigating Vindman | White House outlines legal justification for Soleimani strike | Service member dies in Africa Trump administration outlines legal justification for Soleimani strike Pompeo to testify on Iran in February MORE (D-N.Y.) is demanding the State Department turn over documents related to possible security threats to former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie YovanovitchMarie YovanovitchHouse panel says key witness isn't cooperating in probe into Yovanovitch surveillance President Trump's assault on checks and balances: Five acts in four weeks Former US ambassador Yovanovitch lands a book deal: report MORE after newly released evidence suggests she was under surveillance. 

Engel requested information from the department be delivered by next week in a letter sent to Under Secretary of State Brian Bulatao on Wednesday. 

“I share the Department’s deep resolve that the safety and security of our diplomats is of paramount importance,” Engel wrote. “Given the profound risk that these new revelations expose, it is imperative that Congress be fully informed about the threats against Ambassador Yovanovitch and the Department’s response to them, in order to perform its Constitutionally mandated oversight function and to determine any legislative responses necessary to mitigate such threats in the future.” 

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Engel’s letter cites the additional evidence the four House committees at the center of President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE’s impeachment trial released Tuesday. The new information was provided by Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani: Bloomberg 'jeopardized' stop and frisk by 'overusing it' Giuliani asked for post-9/11 mayoral election to be canceled so he could stay in office: book House panel says key witness isn't cooperating in probe into Yovanovitch surveillance MORE

The information includes communications between Parnas and Connecticut congressional candidate Robert Hyde that hinted the ambassador was being watched. 

“The strong implication from these messages is that someone with detailed knowledge of the Ambassador’s whereabouts and security protocols was providing that information in real time to Mr. Hyde and Mr. Parnas,” Engel wrote. “I cannot overstate the profound security risk that this poses to the U.S. mission and our interests in Ukraine.”

A spokesperson for the State Department was not immediately available for comment. 

Engel is requesting documents related to Parnas, Hyde, as well as any risks to the the security of the Embassy in Kyiv —including but not limited to Yovanovitch — between Jan. 1 2019 and the present. 

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Yovanovitch’s lawyer Lawrence Robbins called for an investigation into the potential monitoring on Tuesday. 

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezMenendez calls for 'Marie Yovanovitch bill' to protect foreign service employees Senators condemn UN 'blacklisting' of US companies in Israeli settlements Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (D-N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for an immediate briefing on the messages. 

The new revelation comes as the impeachment process moves forward. The articles the House voted on at the end of last year were sent to the Senate Wednesday, and a trial will begin next week.