Seasons Greetings
    

Flash News: Companies are giving up on the United States and betting big on China and India     - | -     CDC director: Biden administration is in the dark about vaccine data     - | -     Tata Medical & Diagnostics, a new unit of Tata Sons to launch COVID-19 vaccine in India     - | -     Fabricating stories, fantastic conspiracy theories about covid-19 jabs that are deadly     - | -     New China swine fever strains point to illicit vaccines     - | -     SII: Blaze at facility of world’s biggest vaccine maker kills 5 people     - | -     Vadodara based Alembic Pharma gets USFDA nod for low blood pressure treatment drug     - | -     Paxton calls the DHS's decision illegal, threatens to Sue Biden Administration     - | -     Joe Biden’s speechwriter Vinay Reddy is the pride and joy of Telangana     - | -     She's a woman of color, she's a Black woman, a daughter of immigrants: Kamala Harris walks into history     - | -     Mine Managers detained, trapped worker dies as rescuers try to save 21 in China mine     - | -     Joe Biden, Kamala Harris Sworn in - signs 17 orders to undo Trump’s legacy     - | -     India plans for changes in e-commerce rules could hurt Amazon     - | -     Van Morrison mounts legal action over N.Irish virus curbs on live music     - | -     Netflix streaming service raised $15 billion in less than a decade     - | -     Inauguration of Kamala Harris: Watershed moment for the nation's oldest Black sorority     - | -     Matthew Bonner’s “Trump Baby balloon” to be displayed at the Museum of London     - | -     The resurgence of Covid-19 in China after largely containing the pandemic     - | -     Fitness startup Cure.fit buys California-based Onyx to boost at-home offerings     - | -     The oldest living Marine, Dorothy Cole, died at age 107     - | -     Starbucks closes some New York stores out of possible violence     - | -     COVID-19 vaccine export may start in 2 weeks: Poonawalla     - | -     Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates becomes largest private farmland owner in US     - | -     Alarm at death of teachers: Naseeb Gill      - | -     “Strong evidence” Feds walk back claims Capitol rioters meant to 'capture and assassinate' elected officials     - | -     Dr Reddy's gets DCGI approval to conduct phase-3 trial of Sputnik V     - | -     Biden unveils $1.9 trillion economic package: few keynotes     - | -      Indian consumers to be among the first to buy Samsung Galaxy S21 series globally     - | -     6.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Indonesia's Sulawesi island, killing at least 34 people     - | -     Fear looms as over 90,000 Americans could die of Covid-19 in next three weeks, CDC forecast shows     - | -     Deborah Rhode, Stanford law professor and authority on legal ethics, dies at 68     - | -     Coronavirus: Government is yet to decide on giving indemnity to vaccine makers     - | -     UK to fine companies that hide connections to China Xinjiang region     - | -     U.S. executes mentally diseased woman on murder charges     - | -     Malaysia nationwide Emergency: Election suspended until pandemic is over     - | -     Flight AI-176 enters the book of history with all women crew members     - | -     Trump administration declares Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism     - | -     Mayor Muriel Bowser urges people to avoid DC says Trumpism won't die on January 20     - | -     Ban imposed on genetically modified corn in Mexico     - | -     Ratan Tata travels to Pune to meet ailing former employee     - | -     Florida doctor dead after receiving COVID-19 vaccine     - | -     US Capitol Chaos: Pro-Trump Mob Clash with Police, 4 dead     - | -     Nashville bomber blew himself up, police say     - | -     December deadliest month of COVID-19 pandemic     - | -     Trump signs covid-19 stimulus and government spending bill into law     - | -     This Is What GOP Feared. Now that Trump Has Governed with Executive Orders, Dems Plan to Do Same      - | -     Man Throwing 'Incendiary Devices' at ICE Detention Center Is Killed in Attack      - | -     Mueller Hearing Pushed Back a Week to Allow More Time for Him to Answer Questions      - | -     Trump Tells 4 Congresswomen of Color to 'Go Back' to 'Crime-Infested' Countries They Came From      - | -     GOP Congressman Invokes 'The Deep State'

National News

Trump Accused of Witness Tampering When He Tweets About Yovanovitch as She's Testifying

viewsViews 329

Trump Accused of Witness Tampering When He Tweets About Yovanovitch as She's Testifying

2019-11-15 17:57:14

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Marie Yovanovitch (Image source: Screenshot)

 

Friday was day two of the public impeachment hearing with the third witness, former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, testifying. There was little of shock value in her testimony, but what was startling was Donald Trump tweeting about her while she was testifying, and House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) reading the tweets aloud, then declaring it to be witness tampering.

 

Schiff opened the proceedings by discussing Trump speaking about Yovanovitch to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in their July 25 phone call. Trump referred to her as "the former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news" and said she was "going to go through some things." 

Schiff pointed out that she is a "woman known for fighting corruption ... the woman ruthlessly smeared and driven from her post, the president does nothing but disparage — or even worse, threaten," he charged, adding, "That tells you a lot about the president's priorities and intentions."

 

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, read the July 25 phone transcript aloud and complained that the Democrats are acting like "some kind of strange cult" trying to "fulfill their Watergate fantasies," adding that "it's unfortunate that today and for most of the next we will continue engaging in the Democrats' day-long TV spectacles instead of the problems we were all sent to Washington to address." 

Yovanovitch, a 33-year veteran diplomat under six United States presidents, said after she was removed from office after a smear campaign by Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, what happened to her should "concern everyone" because it will lead foreign officials to doubt American representatives.

 

"Our Ukraine policy has been thrown into disarray, and shady interests the world over had learned how little it takes to remove an American ambassador who does not give them what they want," she said. "After these elements, what foreign official, corrupt or not, could be blamed for wondering whether the ambassador represents the president's views?" 

She is still perplexed on how this all came to be, explaining that "individuals, who apparently felt stymied by our efforts to promote stated U.S. policy against corruption — that is, to do the mission — were able to successfully conduct a campaign of disinformation against a sitting ambassador, using unofficial back channels."

 

Trump took this opportunity to attack Yovanovitch via Twitter after working with Giuliani on her ouster in May. "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," he tweeted. "It is a U.S. president's absolute right to appoint ambassadors." 

"The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding [sic] administrations," he continued. "It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O."

 

This was being posted while the former ambassador was testifying that she found out she was being removed as ambassador while she was hosting an embassy event in honor of a Ukrainian anticorruption activist who was attacked with acid last year and died of her injuries. 

Yovanovitch received an urgent call in late April from State Department Director General Carol Z. Perez who shared "great concern" about her security. In a call late that night in Kyiv, she was instructed to get on the next flight to Washington. "I argued, 'This is extremely irregular,' " she said. "But in the end, I did get on the next plane home."

 

Back in the States, "there was a lot of back and forth, but ultimately he said the words that, you know, every foreign service officer understands: 'The president has lost confidence in you,' " she recalled. "And I said, 'Well, you know, I guess I have to go then.' But no real reason was offered as to why I had to leave and why it was being done in such a manner." 

Recalling the Trump-Zelensky July 25 call transcript, she testified that she hadn't learned that she was mentioned in the call until the transcript was released publicly in September. Trump has said regarding her, "Well, she's going to go through some things."

 

She testified that she "didn't know what to think, but I was very concerned." When asked what her concern was about, the former ambassador replied, "It didn't sound good. It sounded like a threat. ... It felt like a vague threat, so I wondered what that meant. ... It concerned me." 

After Schiff read Trump's tweets aloud, Yovanovitch said, "Well I, I don't think I have such powers. I actually think where I've served over the years, I and others have demonstrably made things better for the U.S. and the countries I served in."

 

"I can't speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating," she told Schiff, who replied, "Some of us here take witness intimidation very seriously." 

Outside the hearing room during a recess, Schiff said that what happened that morning was "witness intimidation in real time by the president of the United States," adding, "Once again, going after this dedicated and respected career public servant in an effort to not only to chill her but to chill others who may come forward." He said once again that they "take this kind of witness intimidation and an obstruction of the inquiry very seriously."

 

But it was just more of what Yovanovitch had already dealt with. She testified that the derogatory tweet by the president and his son, Donald Trump Jr., in March repeated falsehoods and attacks that leaders at the State Department knew to not be true. 

Asking for a statement of support from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, she was told to go to the seventh floor where his office is. The subject of the tweets was an article that appeared in The Hill, written by John Solomon, quoting Ukraine prosecutor Yuri Lutsenko.

 

Lutsenko suggested to the writer that Yovanovitch was speaking ill of Trump and that she cooperated with a plan to help Hillary Clinton and harm Trump's campaign. The ambassador felt those around Giuliani were promoting the articles. While she was testifying on Friday, Lutsenko was slamming her on Twitter. 

Majority counsel read Trump Jr.'s tweet aloud stating, "We need less of these jokers as ambassadors." Yovanovitch said she was worried after reading that, as "these attacks were, you know, being repeated by the president himself and his son." One derogatory Trump tweet even landed on Sean Hannity's show on Fox News.

 

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), a member of the Intelligence Committee, tweeted during the trial, "@POTUS tampering with and intimidating a witness in real time while testifying is shocking and beneath any office, let alone the Office of the President." Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) echoed these concerns in tweets as well. 

In what appeared to be a staged move, Nunes tried to hand off his remaining time to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Schiff shut her down as it was in violation of the rules, and she insisted he was denying the GOP their right to ask questions. What it also showed was the chairman not allowing a woman to speak.

 

However, Stefanik did have Yovanovitch confirm that the Obama administration's State Department prepped her for her confirmation by questioning her about Hunter Biden's position with Burisma. Stefanik then noted, "Obama's own State Department was so concerned that they raised it themselves while prepping this wonderful ambassador nominee for her confirmation." 

In the end, Yovanovitch provided the House Democrats with a good witness. As Schiff banged his gavel to close the hearing, he praised  her for her service and courage, while Nunes regarded the proceedings as a "show trial." As the witness stood up to leave the hearing room, applause and cheers broke out from those watching.

Post Your Comment




Most Recent News

NFL: Washington Football Team Quarterback Alex Smith Named PFWA 2020 Comeback Player of the Year

25 January, 2021

  -Posted by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Washington quarterback Alex Smith. (Image Source: Justin K. Aller / Getty Images) Quarterback Alex Smith, who rebounded from a severe......More

NFL: CDC Publishes Scientific Paper Jointly Authored With NFL on COVID-19 Lessons From 2020 Season Applicable Beyond Football

25 January, 2021

  -Posted by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Tampa Bay Bucs and head coach Bruce Arians are masked up as they celebrate NFC Championship win. (Image Source: Stacy Revere / Getty......More

Soccer: Mesut Özil Joins Fenerbahce Socialeyesed

25 January, 2021

  Socialeyesed - Ozil joins Fenerbahce  ...More

Get Published

Want to publish your own articles?

Create an account, and submit your articles, photos and/or videos. They will be reviewed by our professional copy editors, and if it is approved, it will be published for all our readers to view.

 
 

MORE FOR YOU