Indian-American diplomat in Ukraine overheard Trump’s call to U.S. envoy to EU

Suriya Jayanti (LinkedIn photo)

An Indian-American diplomat posted in Ukraine may also have overheard and later been briefed by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, of his call with Trump. The diplomat, identified by the Associated Press as Suriya Jayanti, was reportedly at the same table in the restaurant the when Sondland called Trump on July 26.

The call is said to have made  a day after Trump's call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump asked him to look into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son.

Jayanti, a Foreign Service officer who is based at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv could be another diplomat who could be subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee to testify in the impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Jayanti was present in the room along with Sondland and David Holmes, whose identity was revealed by when William Taylor, chargé d'affaires to Ukraine, testified on Nov. 13 that “someone on his staff” overheard a July 26 call between Trump and Sondland. News reports say Holmes is scheduled to testify to lawmakers behind closed doors on Nov. 15.

The Hill reported that Sondland told Holmes and Jayanti that “Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which [Trump lawyer Rudy] Giuliani was pressing for.”

The AP report says that “the accounts of the two embassy staffers could tie Trump closer to alleged efforts to hold up military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations into political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s business dealings.”

Meanwhile, a Politico report says that Jayanti had been slated to testify last month in the inquiry, “but the scheduling of her interview was among those shuffled after the death of House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).”

AP reported that Jayanti has been in Kyiv since 2018 and” helps facilitate coordination between the country's energy industry and U.S. business interests.”

According to her LinkedIn profile, Jayanti joined the State Department in 2012. She also served at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq as vice consul. Prior to joining the State Department, she was a trainee attorney and legal assistant at Hunton & Williams LLP, where she Assisted the regulatory and environmental practices headed by Prof. Dr. Lucas Bergkamp She has also worked as a part-time attorney with Donahue & Goldberg, LLP, as a judicial law clerk for Chief Judge Eric T. Washington legal research assistant at Donahue & Goldberg, LLP.

She received her LLM from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium; her JD from American University, Washington College of Law and her BA in International Relations; Conflict Management & Resolution from Claremont McKenna College in California.

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