Published: Mon, November 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump Tweets During Impeachment Hearing Could be Witness Intimidation

Trump Tweets During Impeachment Hearing Could be Witness Intimidation

While ex-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was testifying to the committee on Friday about, among other things, why she was removed from her position, Trump took to Twitter to give his side of the story: "Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad".

Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe, who was co-hosting Fox & Friends, agreed, saying that the House Intelligence Committee is not supposed to be partisan "but Adam Schiff has made it partisan".

"These attacks were, you know, being repeated by the president himself and his son", she said.

"Well, it's very intimidating", Yovanovitch responded.

On Sunday's broadcast of CBS's "Face the Nation", Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) argued President Donald Trump had a "pattern of witness intimidation" when asked about Trump's tweet about former us ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch during her public testimony. But Trump says he saw neither of these qualities when she was an ambassador.

"The witness is testifying".

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White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham pushed back against accusations of witness intimidation. "She started off in Somalia, how did that go? It is a U.S. President's absolute right to appoint ambassadors".

Schiff said the tweet rose to the level of possible witness intimidation, even though Yovanovitch was not aware of the remarks until notified by Schiff. She was first appointed ambassador to Kyrgyzstan by President George W. Bush and then to Armenia. "Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him", wrote President Trump in reference to his conversation with Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

But when Yovanovitch asked for a statement of support to be issued by Pompeo, she said she was told the "seventh floor" of the State Department, where the secretary's office is located, anxious any such statement could be undermined by a subsequent Trump tweet.

Democrats have suggested so far during the impeachment inquiry that Trump abused his office in his dealings toward Ukraine. Schiff said in his opening statement. "I have freedom of speech, just as other people do".

"Was the allegation that you are badmouthing President Trump true?" The effort, Yovanovitch said, showed that "foreign and corrupt interests apparently hijacked our Ukraine policy". In total, she has worked for the State Department for 33 years.

Yovanovitch said later, "If our chief representative is kneecapped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the United States". In their round of questioning, GOP staff counsel Steve Castor pursued a line of questioning to establish that Yovanovitch had no direct knowledge of the central issues at stake in the impeachment inquiry, which occurred after she was removed as ambassador.

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