It was dramatic and impactful testimony Friday morning from Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine. And it was clear the President of the United States was watching.
During her opening statement in the impeachment inquiry, Yovanovitch remarked, “shady interests the world over have learned how little it takes to remove an American Ambassador who does not give them what they want.” She also remarked that she never understood why the president “lost confidence” in her or why his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has smeared her:
“I do not understand Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me, nor can I offer an opinion. The accusations he spread originated from people whose political and financial ambitions were threatened by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.”
Marie Yovonovitch says she never met or had any conversations with Hunter Biden and although she met Joe Biden several times, "neither he nor the (Obama) administration ever raised the issue of either Burisma or Hunter Biden with me" https://t.co/BEw39BZPWg pic.twitter.com/H3JchqMOM2
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) November 15, 2019
As Yovanovitch was testifying, Trump was trashing her on Twitter.
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. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019
Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff noted this as it was happening.
Rep. Adam Schiff: "… now the president in real time is attacking you. What effect do you think that has on other witnesses?"
Marie Yovanovitch: "It's very intimidating."
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) November 15, 2019
Fox News’ Chris Wallace remarked:
“This wasn’t just testimony about the past. This played out in real-time, with the president attacking her… It does raise the possibility of witness intimidation and witness tampering as a new charge here.”
This has been echoed by several others. Former White House counsel John Dean during Watergate called it “criminal.”
Watch Yovanovitch’s full opening statement above.