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 EngelNYC snafu the latest flub from a broken elections agency Cynthia Nixon backs primary challenger to Rep. Carolyn Maloney Democrats call on Blinken to set new sexual misconduct policies at State Department 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 YovanovitchGiuliani hires attorneys who defended Harvey Weinstein The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Former Ukrainian prosecutor says he was fired for not investigating Hunter Biden: 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.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

Engel’s letter cites the additional evidence the four House committees at the center of President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE’s impeachment trial released Tuesday. The new information was provided by Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiRoger Stone served with Capitol riot lawsuit during radio interview FEC finds Twitter didn't break law by blocking spread of Hunter Biden story Juan Williams: The toxic legacy of Trump's corruption 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. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezBiden threatens more sanctions on Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray conflict Failed drug vote points to bigger challenges for Democrats Overnight Defense & National Security — Blinken heads to the hot seat 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.