As Marie Yovanovitch testified during second public House impeachment hearing, President Trump took to Twitter and attacked her career as an American diplomat — a move that rocked the political sphere, as many couldn’t believe a president would dare to intimidate a witness in real time as she testifies.
“Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” Trump tweeted at the very moment Yavonovitch was answering questions from Chairman Adam Schiff. “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 U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.”
As Trump tweeted, Schiff took a moment to read the tweets to Yovanovitch, telling her that the House takes witness intimidation “very, very seriously.”
Rep. Adam Schiff: "… now the president in real time is attacking you. What effect do you think that has on other witnesses?"
Marie Yovanovitch: "It's very intimidating."
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 15, 2019
There was no shortage of political observers and journalists who shared Schiff’s sentiment:
Chris Wallace agrees: "This wasn't just testimony about the past. This played out in real time, with the president attacking her… It does raise the possibility of witness intimidation and witness tampering as a new charge here."
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 15, 2019
Witness intimidation: an article of impeachment in itself.
— Brent Staples (@BrentNYT) November 15, 2019
Her dignity in responding to Trump speaks volumes. I wonder if this is riveting enough for the "theater critic" school of journalism. Schiff uses the opportunity t make clear Trump is engaged in witness intimidation. This is a moment. A real moment.
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) November 15, 2019
How about an article of impeachment for witness intimidation?
— David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL) November 15, 2019
This is witness intimidation.
From the President of the United States of America.
In real time.
For the world to see.
Let that sink in. https://t.co/cTQ4jPnmYs
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) November 15, 2019
Witness intimidation in real time, and an easily debunked lie. Here's what Ukraine's president actually told Trump about Marie Yovanovitch, according to the White House call record: "you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador." https://t.co/r1FvGN6Q1x https://t.co/DaP4xADTn6
— Robert Mackey (@RobertMackey) November 15, 2019
Kind of on the nose for the president to send a tweet intimidating a witness DURING the section of the inquiry dedicated to witness intimidation.
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) November 15, 2019
I have to admit that I did not have "witness intimidation in real time" on my Donald Trump Batshittery Bingo card
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) November 15, 2019
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