WASHINGTON - Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch says President Donald Trump’s tweets about her during her testimony in the impeachment hearings are “very intimidating” to her and other witnesses.
In an extraordinary moment, even in an administration filled with them, Trump himself went after her again as she spoke, tweeting from the White House that everywhere she served had “turned bad.” He emphasized that as president he had the “absolute right” to appoint his own ambassadors.
Rather than distract from the career diplomat’s somber but powerful testimony, Trump’s interference could provide more evidence against him in the probe.
“It’s very intimidating,” Yovanovitch said when Trump’s new tweet was shown on a screen in the hearing room. “I can’t speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidated.”
Democrats strongly agreed.
“I want you to know that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, Intelligence Committee chairman who displayed Trump’s attack.
The president later responded, saying he wasn’t trying to intimidate a witness in the House impeachment inquiry with his tweet and he’s entitled to speak his mind as the investigation plays out.
Trump said of impeachment, "it's a political process, it's not a legal process. I'm allowed to speak up.”