The latest on the Trump impeachment inquiry

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks to media during his press conference in Kiev Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks to media during his press conference in Kiev Ukraine

In the months leading up to Yovanovitch's removal, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and his associates aided in an apparent campaign to have her recalled. They said their subpoena was in response to learning that the State Department had directed Yovanovitch to not appear before Congress on Friday, a direction that she defied.

A day earlier, United States prosecutors arrested two Florida businessmen tied to Giuliani, charging them with campaign finance violations.

According to an indictment, the businessmen had lobbied a USA congressman in 2018 for help ousting Yovanovitch.

In one astonishing development, Giuliani was revealed to have dined with the two indicted men, Viktor Parnas and Igor Fruman, hours before they were arrested at Dulles airport with one-way tickets to Europe.

The current ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, who is also at the centre of the impeachment row over Trump's conduct towards Ukraine, has said he will appear on Thursday, also in defiance of the state department gag.

Last week, Sessions acknowledged meeting with the two businessmen.

Lawyers representing the anonymous whistleblower said in a statement their client "has never worked for or advised a political candidate, campaign or party". "That is not unusual for you to meet people who then become contributors". Yovanovitch continues to believe that there was no just cause for her removal. The Trump administration found her "insufficiently loyal to the President and not committed to carrying out his foreign policy", a us official familiar with her dismissal previously told TIME. The lawyers, Robert Luskin and Kwame Manley, said that State Department regulations prohibit Sondland from producing documents concerning his official responsibilities and that the department has the "sole authority" to do so.

It was sparked by a whistleblower complaint that Mr Trump had pressed his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky in a July telephone call to help with a case against Mr Biden and his son - which Mr Trump describes as corruption. "And I don't know if I recalled her or somebody recalled her, but I heard very, very bad things about her for a long period of time".

Yovanivitch, who was sworn in as ambassador to Ukraine in August 2016, had served in ambassadorships under three administrations.

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The Foreign Agent Registration Act also contains an exemption for legal work, and Giuliani says that his work in Ukraine stemmed from his legal defense of Trump in the special counsel investigation. Multiple State Department officials have complained to TIME that Pompeo is failing to defend the professionals in the department he leads. They include Gordon Sondland, who was blocked from appearing this week but whose attorney said he would testify on October 17.

In her statement, Yovanovitch denied any bias.

"Equally fictitious is the notion that I am disloyal to President Trump", Ms Yovanovitch said.

Yovanovitch's reputation in the diplomatic corps and with foreign officials with whom she's dealt in her three-decade career does not square with Trump's characterization of her as "bad news". "If anything, she is no news".

Sullivan has been a career USA diplomat since 1990, with posts in Ukraine, the US mission to the European Union, South Korea and Honduras.

In an all-day "media marathon" held in a Kyiv food court, Ukraine's president played down suggestions that Trump pressured him in exchange for US military aid to help Ukraine battle Russian-backed separatists.

President Trump, despite admitting that he wanted the Bidens investigated, has said he did nothing wrong.

Most of the questions at Thursday's unusual media event related to the Russian Federation conflict or Ukraine's economic troubles. This fall, she is teaching a course titled "Ukraine: Policy Issues" in the Georgetown's School of Foreign Service.

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