Feb 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Yovanovitch: Trump administration has "undermined our democratic institutions"

Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch said Thursday that the Trump administration has "undermined our democratic institutions" in a Washington Post op-ed.

The state of play: Yovanovitch's piece comes one day after the Senate voted to acquit President Trump in his impeachment trial and after her official retirement from the State Department. Her ouster played a key part in the articles of impeachment against the president — and led Trump to attack her in real-time as she testified before the House Intelligence Committee last year.

What she's saying:

  • "I have seen dictatorships around the world, where blind obedience is the norm and truth-tellers are threatened with punishment or death. We must not allow the United States to become a country where standing up to our government is a dangerous act."
  • "Unfortunately, the last year has shown that we need to fight for our democracy. 'Freedom is not free' is a pithy phrase that usually refers to the sacrifices of our military against external threats. It turns out that same slogan can be applied to challenges which are closer to home."
  • "This administration, through acts of omission and commission, has undermined our democratic institutions, making the public question the truth and leaving public servants without the support and example of ethical behavior that they need to do their jobs and advance U.S. interests."
  • "The events of the past year, while deeply disturbing, show that even though our institutions and our fellow citizens are being challenged in ways that few of us ever expected, we will endure, we will persist and we will prevail."

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Marie Yovanovitch: The State Department is in trouble

Former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch speaks during a ceremony awarding her the Trainor Award for excellence in the conduct of diplomacy at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Marie Yovanovitch, the retired former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, used an award acceptance speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., Wednesday to criticize the Trump administration.

"Right now, the State Department is in trouble. Senior leaders lack policy vision, moral clarity, leadership. The policy process has been replaced by decisions emanating from the top with little discussion, vacancies go unfilled, and our officers are increasingly wondering whether it is safe to express concerns about policies even behind closed doors."

Former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch signs book deal

Marie Yovanovitch. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch has signed a book deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the publisher told AP on Friday.

Details: The untitled memoir will detail the experiences of the career diplomat from Somalia to Kyiv before she returned to Washington, D.C.

Trump impeachment aides leave White House post-acquittal

President Trump's impeachment gurus, Tony Sayegh and Pam Bondi, are leaving the White House after his acquittal in the Senate.

What we're hearing: Sayegh and Bondi were hired to run an anti-impeachment war room in the midst of the House impeachment investigation, but now that the president has been acquitted, the two plan to return to their former jobs.