Impeachment witness: Trump showed how easy it was for Americans to lose their freedom

On Monday, speaking to The Washington Post, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, a target for retaliation by former President Donald Trump's administration and a key witness at the former president's first impeachment trial, opened up about how the last four years shook her beliefs about the strength of American democratic institutions.

"I was an American who thought that our democracy was strong and enduring and forever," said Yovanovitch. "And frankly, I had this arrogant view that it didn't require much work on our part to keep things going, that we had the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, et cetera. We've discovered over the years, not just in the last administration, there's been an erosion and we have not been the guardians of our institutions, because at the end of the day, the Constitution, as beautiful as it is, it's a piece of paper. You need people to work in the public good to provide services, to defend our nation, to advance our interests."

"When I look at January 6th, when I look at some of the other challenges that we faced in the last couple of years, in the end, we've come out okay," added Yovanovitch. "But I think these are wake-up calls that we need to be working together on to make sure we don't go to that brink, to make sure that we are strengthening our institutions, strengthening our schools and leading the next generation with a stronger America. And that means a stronger democracy."

Yovanovitch was fired by the Trump administration partly on the urging of Rudy Giuliani, who saw her as a threat to his business dealings there — dealings for which he is now under federal investigation.

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