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President Trump to nominate new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine

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Posted at 11:48 AM, May 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-02 13:48:40-04

The White House said Friday that President Trump intends to nominate Keith Dayton as the next U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, after the position was unoccupied for nearly a year. Dayton is the director of the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany, and the senior U.S. defense adviser to Ukraine.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was abruptly removed from her post in May 2019. She told House investigators in November she was removed because of a smear campaign orchestrated by "foreign corrupt interests" and Mr. Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

Yovanovitch was a key witness in the impeachment inquiry against Mr. Trump last year, which was precipitated by a whistleblower complaint about a July 25 phone call between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian president where Mr. Trump asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, who is now the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

In that now-infamous call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Trump said Yovanovitch was "bad news" and would be "going through some things."

Ambassador Bill Taylor, who replaced Yovanovitch as the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, also testified in the impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Trump was acquitted in the Senate on impeachment articles of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in February.