A month ago, Steve Linick, Inspector General (IG) for the US Department of State, briefed eight Congressional Committees behind closed doors concerning a campaign by President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani to get Marie Yovanovitch fired from her position as US Ambassador to Ukraine. This is all related to Giuliani’s efforts to get the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, as Yovanovitch wasn’t willing to participate in these efforts. Yovanovitch was ultimately fired by President Trump in May, which is one of the issues being investigated by the House Impeachment Inquiry.

My question is, has the IG publicly released any information regarding this matter? For instance, has the IG announced any investigations related to this, or released the anti-Yovanovitch documents disseminated by Giuliani and spread through the White House and State Department?

  • 1
    Voting to close as opinion based question. Even the most cursory examination will show that every ambassador whether official or not serves at the pleasure of the current President. The President can send anyone, hire anyone and fire anyone in the entire state department without cause or checking with anyone. The state department is part of the executive branch and foreign policy is one of the powers granted to the President in the Constitution. IG has nothing to investigate. Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 13:42
  • 6
    @FrankCedeno Actually The president does need to check with someone, the US Senate. Without Senate approval Sondland (as an example) has no authority as a DoS official.
    – BobE
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 14:17
  • 2
    @BobE, senate approval is only required for cabinet level appointees, not for special ambassadors and envoys. The whole history of the US backs up this claim, there have been many instances of the president sending envoys that are not part of the DoS. The point is that the DoS does not own foreign policy, the President does. Commented Nov 14, 2019 at 13:17
  • 2
    @FrankCedeno see: "On May 10, 2018, the White House announced that Sondland's nomination had been sent to the U.S. Senate. He was confirmed by the Senate on June 28, 2018"
    – BobE
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 0:26

1 Answer 1


The lead paragraph of the article you cited CNN states:

"The State Department inspector general provided Congress on Wednesday [Oct 2 2019 ] with documents that included materials President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani had given to the department" and " The documents, which were obtained by CNN, include claims against the Bidens ..., as well as accusations against former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch."

A quick survey of DoS IG's website does not indicate that the IG is investigating these claims, which some DoS officials have characterized as a "fake narrative" :

  • 1
    I’m not talking about investigating Giuliani’s underlying claims about the Bidens and Yovanovitch, which are indeed (IMO) a fake narrative. I’m talking about investigating Giuliani’s anti-Yovanovitch efforts and the extent to which State Department officials cooperated/participated in these efforts. Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 5:27
  • In fact that is the whole reason why Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan sent these documents to the Inspector General in the first place, to find out the origins of the smear campaign against Yovanovitch. Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 5:31
  • 2
    @KeshavSrinivasan-IMO, Linick has the authority to investigate Sondland (as an example - because he is a State Department employee) but has no authority to investigate Giuliani or the origins of anti-Yovanovitch claims, if those claims originated outside of the State Department. WTBS, Linick assuredly has jurisdiction to investigate Sondland (and others) promoting or promulgating a conspiracy theory. However, as I said, the DoS website does not provide any official indication that "the claims" themselves are being investigated.
    – BobE
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 14:36
  • Yeah, I think to the extent that the IG is concerned with this stuff it’s about how State Department officials participated/cooperated with Giuliani’s efforts. Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 14:48
  • Which claims? There are many claims and counter claims. The claim in the OP?
    – user9790
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 16:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .