As Trump attacks former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Schiff warns of “Witness Intimidation.”

At the very moment she was testifying about how Mr. Trump had denigrated her, the president was assailing Ms. Yovanovitch, insulting her diplomatic career and reasserting his right to remove her, prompting Democrats to suggest he was trying to intimidate a witness.

"Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad," he wrote on Twitter. "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."

Mr. Trump's tweet omits the context in which he discussed Ms. Yovanovitch with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine during their July 25 phone conversation, which actually came two months after she had been recalled from Ukraine. It was Mr. Trump who first criticized Ms. Yovanovitch, calling her "bad news." Mr. Zelensky responded that he completely agreed with Mr. Trump and pointed out "you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador."

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, interrupted the hearing to read Ms. Yovanovitch the tweet and ask her what she thought of it.

Ms. Yovanovitch, a tight smile on her face, appeared momentarily uncertain how to respond. "It's very intimidating," she said. She then paused, searching for words. "I can't speak to what the president is trying to do, but the effect is to be intimidating."

Mr. Schiff responded in a stern tone that, "Some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously."

Representative Jim Himes, Democrat of Connecticut and a member of the Intelligence panel, said it was an instance of "clear witness tampering" that could form the basis of an article of impeachment against Mr. Trump.While Ms. Yovanovitch was removed from her post in Ukraine, she remains a State Department employee working in the government headed by Mr. Trump.

The White House later denied any new wrongdoing by Mr. Trump. "The tweet was not witness intimidation; it was simply the president's opinion," Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, said in a statement. "This is not a trial; it is a partisan political process — or to put it more accurately, a totally illegitimate charade stacked against the president."

New York Times, November 15, 2019


November 15, 2019

Voices4America Post America. All praise to #AmbassadorYovanovitch, an American hero.

#Once again, Trump brought out his best bully, committing the crime of witness tampering. These hearings are #riveting, as we painfully learn about #TrumpAbuseofPower #TrumpPoliticalAgenda #ImpeachRemoveTrump


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