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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?

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    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. – Frank Cedeno Nov 13 '19 at 13:42
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    @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 Nov 13 '19 at 14:17
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    @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. – Frank Cedeno Nov 14 '19 at 13:17
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    @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 Nov 15 '19 at 0:26
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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" :

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    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. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 13 '19 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. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 13 '19 at 5:31
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    @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 Nov 13 '19 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. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 13 '19 at 14:48
  • Which claims? There are many claims and counter claims. The claim in the OP? – K Dog Nov 13 '19 at 16:22
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No, as BobE states, and he's not likely to because your premise is deeply flawed. Yovanovitch was fired for stonewalling Ukranian government officials visa requests (which deeply hurt or relations with Ukraine) and alleged obstruction of justice. Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy director of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s International Legal Cooperation Dept., told John Solomon that for over a year he and a team of senior officials has been blocked by Yovanovitch from getting visas to go to the U.S. to testify to Democratic party perfidy and lawbreaking.

We were supposed to share this information during a working trip to the United States,” Kulyk told me in a wide-ranging interview. “However, the [U.S.] ambassador blocked us from obtaining a visa. She didn’t explicitly deny our visa, but also didn’t give it to us.”

In another instance, he said, Ukrainian authorities gathered evidence that money paid to an American Democrat allegedly was hidden by Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) during the 2016 election under pressure from U.S. officials. “In the course of this investigation, we found that there was a situation during which influence was exerted on the NABU, so that the name of [the American] would not be mentioned,” he said.

Other items mentioned in the report:

  • Sworn statements from two Ukrainian officials admitting that their agency tried to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favor of Hillary Clinton. The effort included leaking an alleged ledger showing payments to then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort;
    • Contacts between Democratic figures in Washington and Ukrainian officials that involved passing along dirt on Donald Trump;
    • Financial records showing a Ukrainian natural gas company routed more than $3 million to American accounts tied to Hunter Biden, younger son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, who managed U.S.-Ukrainian relations for the Obama administration. Biden’s son served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma Holdings;
    • Records that Vice President Biden pressured Ukrainian officials in March 2016 to fire the prosecutor who oversaw an investigation of Burisma Holdings and who planned to interview Hunter Biden about the financial transfers;
    • Correspondence showing members of the State Department and U.S. embassy in Kiev interfered or applied pressure in criminal cases on Ukrainian soil; Disbursements of as much as $7 billion in Ukrainian funds that prosecutors believe may have been misappropriated or taken out of the country, including to the United States.
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    Here's the thing: when I read a "report" from an opinion writer (as in this case of John Solomon on The Hill"). My tendency is to classify his "article" as non-journalism. Opinion's are like......., everyone's got theirs. – BobE Nov 13 '19 at 21:54
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    @BobE - whatever Solomon was early in his career, he's known now mainly for pushing phony stories that support a partisan narrative. Specifically, for the Ukrainian conspiracy nonsense, there's this - newyorker.com/news/news-desk/… – PoloHoleSet Nov 14 '19 at 0:18
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    @KDog What are you talking about "lie"? I'll just say that everyone entitled to their own opinion, just as they are entitled to their own conspiracy theory. I tend to classify Solomon with the likes of Alex Jones. – BobE Nov 14 '19 at 5:15
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    @BobE We're just not entitled to our own facts. – K Dog Nov 14 '19 at 16:41
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    @KDog: And some people will embrace alternative facts in spite of demonstrative truths – BobE Nov 16 '19 at 2:05

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