House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) asked Friday’s witness, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, to respond to President Trump’s recent tweets during Friday’s public impeachment hearing, ultimately baiting her to describe the president’s purported tactics as “intimidating.”
“Ambassador Yovanovitch, as we sit here testifying the president is attacking you on Twitter, and I’d like to give you the chance to respond,” Schiff said during the hearing, reading off Trump’s recent tweets.
Trump tweeted in part:
Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. 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…..They call it “serving at the pleasure of the President.” The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding administrations. It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O.
“Would you like to respond to the president’s attack that everywhere you went turned bad?” Schiff asked.
“I actually think that where I’ve served over the years, I and others have demonstratively made things better for the U.S. and as well as for the countries that I’ve served in,” Yovanovitch stated.
“Ukraine, for example, where there are huge challenges including, you know on the issue that we’re discussing today of corruption, huge challenges,” she continued.
“But they’ve made a lot of progress since 2014 including in the years that I was there,” she said, giving credit to the Ukrainian people, the U.S. and herself.
“A part of that credit goes to the work of the United States and to me as the ambassador in Ukraine,” she added.
Schiff lauded her for the courage to testify notwithstanding the fact the president “implicitly threatened you in that call record.”
“And now the president in real time is attacking you. What effect do you think that has on other witnesses’ willing to come forward and expose wrongdoing?” Schiff asked.
“It’s very intimidating,” she said.
“Designed to intimidate, is it not?” he asked.
“I mean I can’t speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating,” she said.
“Well I want to let you know ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously,” Schiff warned.