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As I was listening to the live impeachment hearings, I heard two things: a) The July phone call between Trump and Ukraine about investigating Biden's son and possible quid-pro-quo. b) The recall of Ambassador Yovanovitch from Ukraine and a smear campaign by the president's allies involving that.

From what I was hearing, the campaign to remove Yovanovitch began long before the July phone call. Does this mean that Trump may have been planning such a request to Ukraine for a while? Are they completely unrelated besides for the fact that they both involve Ukraine? Or, is there another connection between the two of them that I am missing?

Basically, my question is: Is there a connection between the phone call between Trump and Zelinsky and the recall of Ambassador Yovanovitch?

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As I explained in another answer Yovanovitch was fired for stonewalling Ukranian government officials visa requests (which deeply hurt or relations with Ukraine) and alleged obstruction of justice.

Trump said this about her: during the infamous phone call.

“The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news,” Trump said in their July 25 conversation, according to a transcript released by the White House. “She’s going to go through some things.”

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.

Trump evidently believed that set of facts, citing the story above directly.

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    Apparently Kostiantyn Kulyk is himself accused of corruption and has a reputation for using investigations as political weapons - which is ironic. He has been linked to a Russia-linked active measures campaign. President Zelensky has been urged to fire him and "sources" say he will be fired. He and former prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko, who is the subject of criminal proceedings for alleged abuse of power, met with Rudy Giuliani to discuss the accusations against Hunter Biden. Lutsenko also made false allegations, which he later retracted, as part of an effort to force out Yovanovitch. – Lag Nov 13 '19 at 20:25

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