Foreign Policy for America Statement on the Surveillance of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch

January 15, 2020

Foreign Policy for America Statement on the Surveillance of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch

Washington, DC – Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was surveilled physically and electronically by associates of President Trump’s personal lawyer while serving as U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, according to new documents turned over to the House by indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas. The text messages between Parnas and Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde illustrate a terrifying mob-like attitude and appear to confirm the Ambassador was being followed and tracked, and that her physical safety may have been threatened.

We are appalled to learn that Americans would spy on and threaten an American ambassador, but even more alarmed that the administration has yet to take action to investigate this incident or ensure that nothing like it occurs again. Ambassador Yovanovitch and her lawyer have called for an investigation into this evidence, and many former diplomats are also coming to her defense.

“This news is outrageous,” said Foreign Policy for America Executive Director Andrew Albertson. “Ambassador Yovanovitch was targeted simply for doing her job as her oath required her to. Our diplomats work hard every single day to represent the American people abroad and this is not the way they deserve to be repaid. We stand with her and with every other diplomat calling today for this matter to be investigated fully by the State Department and law enforcement officials.”

“There was an American plot against the security of a U.S. Ambassador,” said Dana Shell Smith, FP4A Board Member and former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar. “The State Department must turn over any documents it has, as well as what steps were taken to protect her and end the plot. You don’t pull an Ambassador from her post because an American is threatening her. You have the threat arrested. A threat on a U.S. Ambassador would be treated with the utmost urgency if it came from a foreign agent. But Attorney General Barr hasn’t opened an investigation and Secretary of State Pompeo has been radio silent.”