State Department

Judicial Watch recently obtained State Department records that show the Ukrainian Embassy, under former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch monitored journalists, a member of the Trump family, and other allies of the president.

The State Department records show that the Ukrainian Embassy, under Ambassador Yovanovitch ‘monitored, in potential violation of the law’ multiple prominent conservatives in the United States.

FOIA Request

Last October, Judicial Watch issued a Freedom of Information Act request to the State Department. The request asked for “any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the monitoring of any U.S.-based journalist, reporter, or media commentator by any employee or office of the Department of State between January 1, 2019 and the present.”

According to Judicial Watch, “the FOIA request also asks for all records of communication between any official, employee or representative of the State Department and any other individual or entity.”

Sara A. Carter, journalist and Fox News contributor, spoke to sources last October that confirmed that members of the media, including herself and 12 others, were being spied on through social media by members of the Ukrainian Embassy. Reportedly, tax dollars were being used for this purpose.

Judicial Watch’s FOIA request confirmed this through the records that were delivered to them on September 1st.

A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to Carter that Yovanovitch, who had been appointed by President Obama, was allegedly the one who requested to monitor the reporters.

Emails Obtained

One email from March 27th, 2019 discussed monitoring U.S. social media narratives on Ukraine, and listed the names of the people being monitored. This was one of the few emails that had not been heavily redacted.

The email said: “Thank you! Below are some of the Twitter users with large followings whom we’ve seen tweeting on (and/or discussing on TV) Ukraine related issues over the past several days.They all have verified Twitter accounts that should be pretty easy to spot. Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Rudy Giuliani, Dan Bongino, Sebastian Gorka, John Solomon, Jack Posobiec, Ryan Saavedra, Sara A Carter, Donald Trump Jr., Michael McFaul, Lou Dobbs, Pamela Geller.”

The email from Ukrainian Embassy officials also discussed search phrases to monitor: “Thanks very much for your notes. The English-language Twitter search phrases we’re currently using for this issue are: Yovanovitch, Yovanovich (common misspelling), Ukraine Ambassador, Ukrainian Ambassador, Ukraine Soros.”

Marie Yovanovitch was a career diplomat, serving at embassies in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, and ultimately was recalled from her post as ambassador to Ukraine by the State Department in May of 2020, which she had held since being appointed in 2016.

Yovanovitch had also been in the news for testifying behind closed doors in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

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