Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch confirmed that she had been prepared by the Obama administration to answer questions about Hunter Biden’s potential conflicts of interest.
During her impeachment testimony on Friday, Yovanovitch was pressed by Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik to explain whether she was aware of Biden’s apparent conflicts of interest in taking a role on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas firm, when his father was leading policy in the region as vice president.
“You testified that 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?” Stefanik said.
Yovanovitch confirmed Stefanik’s recap of her briefing by the Obama administration.
Stefanik continued by highlighting that Yovanovitch was prepared to answer questions specifically about Hunter Biden being appointed to the Burisma board. She explained her frustration with the situation and noted that while Yovanovitch had been prepped to answer questions about Biden by the Obama administration, Republicans have been criticized for asking similar questions.
“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 the wonderful ambassador nominee before her confirmation,” said Stefanik. “And yet, our Democratic colleagues and the chairman at this committee cry foul when we dare ask that same question that the Obama State Department was so concerned about.”
Stefanik added, “We will continue asking it.”
The House based its impeachment proceedings on President Trump’s asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate corruption related to Hunter Biden.
Democrats claimed that Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine unless they agreed to investigate Biden, which put U.S. national interests at risk. Republicans, however, argued that Trump didn’t participate in a quid pro quo because Ukraine got their aid, and an investigation never occurred.