Yovanovitch was removed from her role in May after a smear campaign said to have been carried out by Giuliani, his conservative media allies, and former Ukrainian officials.
She has testified that she thought she was seen as an impediment in Giuliani and President Donald Trump’s quest for Ukraine to announce investigations in what Democrats have called an impeachable abuse of power.
President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani gave interviews to multiple news outlets on Monday acknowledging that he sought the removal of Marie Yovanovitch as the US ambassador to Ukraine.
Speaking with the Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Monday night, Giuliani was asked whether he stood by comments he made to The New Yorker, in which he had said he needed Yovanovitch “out of the way” as he sought to pressure the Ukrainian government to announce investigations that could damage Trump’s political opponents.
“Of course I did,” the former New York City mayor said, adding: “I didn’t need her out of the way. I forced her out because she’s corrupt.”
Democrats say that Giuliani and Trump’s campaign for Ukraine to announce an investigation into the Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and a fringe conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election to help Democrats was part of a impeachable abuse of power by Trump to try to secure an advantage in the 2020 presidential election.
The New York Times on Monday said Giuliani told it he did not directly ask Trump to recall Yovanovitch but had made a point of relaying rumors about her — which The Times said proved to be “unsubstantiated” or “taken out of context” — to Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“What continues to amaze me is that they found Americans willing to partner with them and working together, they apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a US ambassador,” Yovanovitch said.
“How could our system fail like this? How is it that foreign, corrupt interests could manipulate our government?”
But Giuliani has refused to let up in the search in Ukraine for damaging information on Biden, traveling back to the country to garner information from officials.
And on Monday he doubled down on conspiracy theories about Yovanovitch, claiming that she refused visas to four people prepared to travel to the US to testify about Biden as part of a “deep state” plot.
“There is no question that she was acting corruptly in that position and had to be removed,” he said in his Fox News interview.
“She should have been fired if the State Department were not part of the ‘deep state.'”