Why do Republicans want to hear from the former ambassador to Ukraine?

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is testifying today before congressional committees on Capitol Hill. As Ed Morrissey notes, it’s curious that, although the White House has blocked a number of government officials from testifying before Congress, Yovanovitch showed up today to testify.

The White House may be okay with Yovanovitch testifying. According to this article by Debra Heine in American Greatness, Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, would like to question the former ambassador under oath.

For one thing, there are reports that Yovanovitch made a number of “strange” and “irregular” requests to monitor the communications of American journalists in Ukraine. It would be worthwhile to ask her about that.

Even more importantly, perhaps, there is this from Heine’s report:

A former top Ukrainian official told investigative reporter John Solomon last spring that the U.S. embassy in Kiev had been refusing to provide Ukrainian law enforcement officials with visas so they can deliver their evidence of election meddling and corruption to Washington.

“We were supposed to share this information during a working trip to the United States,” Kostiantyn Kulyk—then the deputy head of the Prosecutor General’s International Legal Cooperation Department—told Solomon back in April. “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.”

(Emphasis added)

For what it’s worth, I have heard rumors that Yovanovitch has said privately that she blocked the visas at the behest of Joe Biden. This is third-hand information and should be viewed as such.

The “blocking” part comes from John Solomon. The Biden part is just rumor, as I said.

Biden had no official power over Yovanovitch at the time of the blocking, but it’s possible that he still had influence with her. And Biden is one, though probably not the only, person whose interests might strongly be served by blocking Ukrainian law enforcement officials from coming to the U.S. to talk about Ukrainian election meddling and corruption.

It should be an interesting, and perhaps explosive, day on Capitol Hill.

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