Published: Sat, November 16, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump 'intimidating' to ex-envoy as new call details revealed

Trump 'intimidating' to ex-envoy as new call details revealed

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, testifies before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 15, 2019. "I have freedom of speech just like other people do", Trump told reporters at the White House later in the day.

"I mean, I - I don't think I have such powers, not in Mogadishu and Somalia and not in other places", she answered.

In the middle of Yovanovitch's testimony Friday morning, Trump tweeted, "Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad". "She started off in Somalia, how did that go?"

The moral of Yovanovitch's story is this: While Ukraine has tried to move toward democracy and the rule of law, the United States under Trump-through an unofficial, private channel divorced from USA interests and devoid of oversight-has moved away from them.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff cut her off: "That's not a proper point of order". "Once again going after this dedicated and respected career public servant in an effort not only to chill her but to chill others who may come forward".

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Schiff then warned the president that, "some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously".

Senior White House correspondent John Roberts, reporting from outside the White House, also said that "What we may have just seen, as has been mentioned unfold in real-time there, is the potential basis for articles of impeachment on witness intimidation".

Yovanovitch added, "What I can say is that Mr. Giuliani should have known those claims were suspect - coming as they reportedly did from individuals with questionable motives and with reason to believe that their political and financial ambitions would be stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine". Yovanovitch said she was "shocked and devastated" that she would be featured in a call between two heads of state in that manner.

More public hearings in the House are scheduled for this coming week.

Yovanovitch levelled criticism at State Department leadership, and by extension Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for failing to push back against forces that "apparently hijacked our Ukraine policy", or to support her in the face of "dangerously wrong" attacks against her.

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