What Happened to Marie Yovanovitch and the Power of Truth

An Open Letter To Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

Photo supplied by author

Dear Ms. Yovanovitch,

I want you to know the effect of your testimony on me, an average American.

I was driving on November 15th, 2019 and tuned to an NPR radio station that was broadcasting the impeachment hearings live when you began to testify. You were only a voice to me then. I knew nothing about your history or what you looked like and only that President Trump spoke poorly of you.

Your early comments entertained me and you are correct that my first thought about “diplomats” was that they ate a lot of fancy dinners for free. I had not thought particularly about danger or sacrificing time with family in the United States and yet as I listened spellbound, I wondered, “Where is she going with this?”

You continued painting a picture with your words about serving your country and what being an ambassador of the United States actually means. I could feel the passion and commitment and belief in working for the greater good that has guided your career and your life, including that very moment. And I got a very real sense that you were advocating not just for yourself, but for other ambassadors and members of the Department of State who work to promote good relationships between the United States and the rest of the world.

I knew when you described being called on April 25th 2019 and told that you should return to the U.S. on the next plane available that this was both unfair and a bad thing for our country. I marveled at your calm, clear telling of being unjustly dismissed from a position where your hard work was having a positive impact.

Among the sea of bickering elected officials in Congress, your voice made me proud to be an American, proud to be a working woman and reaffirmed my belief in speaking one’s truth.

What puzzles me about the Impeachment hearings and trial is this.

Isn’t putting a U.S. ambassador or any public servant doing their job in harm’s way, for a reason other than the greater good, an act of treason?

President Trump was not only aware, but almost seemed to be boasting, that you would be harmed on some level — physically, professionally? I don’t understand why people aren’t asking him what he meant when he said, “she’s going to go through some things.” Was what you were ‘going to go through’ legal? Was it at the President’s direction?

For me President Trump’s failure to protect you, a dedicated public servant, is a high crime indeed.

I’ve heard that you are retiring from the State Department and wonder what you will do next. The world needs you and what you can contribute. I thank you for what you did working for the Department of State and what you did for me and others on November 15th by so eloquently and courageously speaking the truth. Know that your words mattered, regardless of who is President. Your words mattered. You did a great job.

Thanks again,

Anne Emerick

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Marie Yovanovitch taking the oath before testifying in the impeachment inquiry — photo from Wikimedia.

A programmer by day, author by night. When I put on running tights, I like to imagine I’m a super hero. Creator of Unemploymentville.com. Follow me if you dare.

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