Quantcast
Connect with us

Key moments from Day Two of Trump impeachment hearing

Published

on

Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, delivered more than five hours of dramatic testimony on Friday before the congressional committee holding impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump.

Here are key moments from the second day of public hearings in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives:

– Trump tweet –

One hour after Yovanovitch began testifying before a live television audience of millions of Americans, Trump fired off a bombshell tweet attacking the career diplomat, a 33-year veteran of the State Department.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” the president tweeted. “She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him.

“It is a US President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors,” Trump tweeted. “They call it ‘serving at the pleasure of the President.'”

– ‘Very intimidating’ –

In a stunned hearing room, Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, read out part of Trump’s tweet and asked Yovanovitch for her reaction.

“It’s very intimidating,” Yovanovitch said, visibly taken aback.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously,” Schiff replied.

Trump’s tweet came shortly after Yovanovitch had recalled how upset she was over being recalled from Kiev in May as the result of a campaign led by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney.

She also said she was “shocked and devastated” when she found out that Trump had referred to her as “bad news” in a July 25 telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yovanovitch, who is currently teaching at Georgetown University and remains a State Department employee, said she felt a “vague threat” after Trump said she would “go through some things.”

“It was a terrible moment,” she said. “A person who saw me actually reading the transcript said that the color drained from my face.”

ADVERTISEMENT

– ‘Smear campaign’ –

Yovanovitch said she did not understand why she became the target of a “smear campaign” against her that she said was led by Giuliani with the assistance of several corrupt Ukrainians.

“I do not understand Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me,” Yovanovitch said, adding that she was the victim of “baseless allegations” and a “campaign of disinformation.”

ADVERTISEMENT

She said that she has served under both Republican and Democratic presidents and had never expressed any public criticism of Trump.

“I obviously don’t dispute that the president has the right to withdraw an ambassador at any time for any reason, but what I do wonder is why it was necessary to smear my reputation falsely?” she said.

– Hunter Biden –

Yovanovitch was asked by Republican lawmakers about the propriety of Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, serving on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma while his father was Barack Obama’s vice president.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I think it could raise the appearance of a conflict of interest,” she said.

Trump asked Zelensky during the July 25 phone call which triggered the House impeachment proceedings to investigate Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, his potential 2020 Democratic presidential opponent.

– Impact on State Department –

Yovanovitch said her early recall from Kiev and other events have severely damaged morale at the State Department and she made it clear that she was disappointed she did not receive more support from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I think it has had exactly that, a chilling effect,” she said. “People don’t know, kind of, whether their efforts to pursue our stated policy are going to be supported. And that is a dangerous place to be.

“The crisis has moved from the impact on individuals to an impact on the institution,” she said. “The State Department is being hollowed out from within at a competitive and complex time on the world stage.

“This is not a time to undercut our diplomats.”

– Family –

Yovanovitch was poised and unflappable under intense questioning by Democratic and Republican lawmakers and lawyers for both sides, providing crisp and clear responses to their questions or short “Yes” or “No” answers.

ADVERTISEMENT

Yovanovitch answered virtually every question she was asked but declined to do so when asked about the impact on her family.

“I really don’t want to get into that but thank you for asking,” she said.

“It’s been a very, very difficult time,” she said at one point. “All we have is our reputation and this has been a very painful period.”

– Applause –

ADVERTISEMENT

After Yovanovitch completed her testimony and Schiff dismissed the panel, members of the public who attended the hearing burst into applause, something rarely heard at a House committee hearing.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

WATCH: Maddow hilariously recaps Trump’s ‘shenanigans in the Oval Office’ with the Russian foreign minister

Published

on

MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday examined President Donald Trump's meeting with Russian Federation Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov -- on the same day that the House of Representatives unveiled articles of impeachment against the commander-in-chief.

Following the meeting, Lavrov trolled Trump on the issues of foreign election interference and Trump's habit of revealing classified intelligence.

"Given that, given the way the president is being impeached for having done all those things to Ukraine in and way that undermined our alliance with them and specifically their fight against Russian aggression -- which has, you know, led to a five-year-long war in Ukraine -- I mean given the fact he's being impeached for undermining Ukraine in its war against Russia, this is heck of a day to choose to have the Russian foreign minister sitting on your lap in the Oval Office," Maddow said.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump propaganda network tried to get visa for arrested Ukrainian official to give them Biden dirt: report

Published

on

On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that One America News Network, a pro-Trump TV channel that competes with Fox News, tried to secure a U.S. visa for Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a former Ukrainian lawmaker who was arrested last week by German authorities on corruption charges.

OAN reportedly was interested in transporting Onyschenko to America to help uncover dirt on Burisma, the energy company linked to former Vice President Joe Biden's son, and the focus of President Donald Trump's attempts to coerce the Ukrainian government to interfere with U.S. elections. They are reportedly also seeking visas for "several other" Ukrainian officials.

Continue Reading
 

CNN

CNN’s Cuomo smacks down GOP congressman for claiming Democrats have no impeachable offense on Trump

Published

on

On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) tried to claim that Democrats had no impeachable offenses against Trump — and anchor Chris Cuomo promptly fact-checked him.

"I still ask that question, what was the impeachable offense?" said Mullin. "They started with quid pro quo, moved to bribery and when the articles of impeachment came out, they say it's high crimes and misdemeanors. From day one they have been in search of a crime. They've been trying to explain to the American people why they're impeaching a duly elected president. Underneath the past impeachments it was very clear. Clinton committed perjury. Andrew Johnson, he removed the Secretary of War illegally and Nixon broke into the DNC. Those are impeachable offenses. I ask the question—"

Continue Reading