Fact Check

Does Marie Yovanovitch Have a Net Worth of $17 Million?

An unsubstantiated rumor was circulated in November 2019 in an apparent attempt to discredit the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

Published Nov 18, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch returns for additional questioning after a break while testifying before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. In the second impeachment hearing held by the committee, House Democrats continue to build a case against U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to link U.S. military aid for Ukraine to the nation’s investigation of his political rivals.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) (Getty Images)
Image Via Getty Images
Claim:
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch has a net worth of $17 million.

On Nov. 15, 2019, former U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. Shortly after, some of Trump's defenders took to social media apparently to discredit her testimony, claiming that the ambassador's net worth far exceeded her salary, insinuating because of some illicit means:

We have found no evidence to corroborate this claim.

Those making the claim have offered a wide range of figures. We also found that this claim did not originate with a credible financial news outlet, such as Forbes, and that the websites publishing this information have offered no evidence.  Furthermore, while this claim implies some sort of wrongdoing on her part, no one has offered any information about how she supposedly built her alleged fortune. 

In other words, this claim appears to have been conjured out of thin air. 

While the tweet shown above claimed that Yovanovitch has a net worth of $17 million, other social media users have offered differing estimates of her net worth:

One possible explanation for the discrepancies in this claim is that there is no credible evidence for the estimates. 

Some social media users pointed to articles published on Walikali and Gossipgist to support their claim that Yovanovitch's net worth far exceeded her salary. However, just like the above-displayed tweets, these sites offered no evidence to support their estimates. 

The articles published on these websites provide some basic biographical information about the former ambassador to Ukraine. They do not, however, provide any insight into any business dealings or investments that Yovanovitch may have made that could have resulted in a $17 million net worth. Instead, they simply tacked on their estimate ($6 million in both cases) without making any attempt to justify that figure. 

We reached out to Walikali and Gossipgist for more information on how they arrived at their estimates and will update this article if more information becomes available.

In sum, the claim that Yovanovitch has a net worth of $17 million (or $12 million or $6 million or $3 million) is wholly unsubstantiated. This rumor appears to have been made up out of whole cloth in an apparent attempt to discredit her U.S. House testimony. 

Sources

Flaherty, Anne.   "5 Key Takeaways From Testimony by Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch."     ABC News.   15 November 2019.

McCarthy, Tom; Smith, David.   "Ukraine Ambassador Describes Trump's 'Shocking' Smear Campaign Against Her."     The Guardian.   15 November 2019.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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