Maria Yovanovich, the former ambassador to Ukraine who was dismissed by the Trump administration in May, testified before the House’s public impeachment inquiry on Friday. It appears that she may have lied under oath regarding her knowledge of the Hunter Biden and Burisma connection.
In her opening statement she states:
Although I have met former vice president Joe Biden several times over the course of our many years in government service, neither he nor the previous administration ever raised the issue of either Burisma or Hunter Biden with me.
Yovanovich’s opening statement contradicts the answers she gave in later questioning by both Republican counsel Stephen Castor and New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik.
In response to questioning by Castor, Yovanovich stated that she did have knowledge of Hunter Biden’s lucrative position with Burisma. She even admits to having spoken about it in her earlier deposition:
We — I was aware of it, because as I told you before, in the deposition, there had been a — in terms of the preparation for my Senate confirmation hearings for Ukraine, there was a question about that and a select answer.
Representative Stefanik later pressed Yovanovich about her previous deposition testimony detailing how the Obama administration had coached her on how to handle questions about Hunter Biden and his association with Burisma during her confirmation hearings.
“The first time you personally became aware of Burisma was actually when you were being prepared by the Obama State Department for your Senate confirmation hearings, and this was in the form of practice questions and answers,” Stefanik told the former ambassador. “This was your deposition. And you testified in this particular practice Q & A with the Obama State Department, it wasn’t just generally about Burisma and corruption. It was specifically about Hunter Biden and Burisma. Is that correct?”
Yovanovich answered, “Yes, it is.”
Rep. Stefanik went on to stress that while House Democrats dismiss the role of Hunter Biden/Burisma in the corruption President Trump sought to understand, even though the Obama White House clearly had concerns over it:
So for the millions of Americans watching, President Obama’s own State Department was so concerned about potential conflicts of interest from Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma, that they raised it themselves while prepping this wonderful ambassador nominee before her confirmation.”
This is not the first time Yovanovich has been caught in a lie, as she lied to Committee about her lack of response to a Democrat staffer’s email for a meeting regarding Ukraine, just two days before the whistleblower complaint was filed.
Read more about that here.