The president’s alleged disregard for the laws of any land was lent a whole lent much more credence during the resumption of the Congressional impeachment inquiry public hearings on Thursday morning. While one of the Democrats’ star witnesses was testifying about further damaging claims surrounding Donald Trump, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told Marie Yovanovitch that he president was live-tweeting disparaging remarks about her.
“How does that make you feel,” Schiff asked Yovanovitch.
“Very intimidating,” she responded.
“We take this type of witness intimidation very seriously,” Schiff would go on to tell reporters during a recess on Friday after Yovanovitch’s testimony.
Yovanovitch is a key figure in the Democrats’ quest to impeach Trump. She is the former Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine who Trump recalled from her post because he thought she was impeding the president’s admitted progress in trying to bribe Ukraine to investigate the family of former Vice President Joe Biden, his presumed opponent in the 2020 election. Trump has been trying to discredit Yovanovitch, a career diplomat who has served the U.S. for more than 30 years, ever since she was dismissed in May.
On Friday, Trump tweeted that “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” implying she was to blame instead of owning up to his admitted attempts to withhold financial aid to Ukraine, something that caused lives to be lost. The Washington Post previously described that scenario as “violating the Constitution in seeking help from a foreign leader to damage a political opponent.”
That in itself, by definition, is an impeachable offense. But now with Friday Twitter meltdown, the president has probably invited some witness intimidation charges, a crime that is also an impeachable offense.
“The actions of the Trump presidency have revealed the dishonorable fact of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections,” House Majority Leader and California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said Back in September. “Therefore, today, I am announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry.”
Yovanovitch’s testimony came two days after Day 1 of the public hearings that saw other State Department career diplomats testified that the president took deliberate steps to undermine the diplomatic and political processes in Ukraine in order to effect political gain for himself. One witness, Acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor Jr., revealed that one of his aides had recently said he overheard a phone call with the president during which Trump indicated he was more concerned with investigating the Bidens than he was with helping the Eastern European country. That allegation was previously unheard.
Democrats and coverage on cable news networks likened Trump’s alleged behavior to that of an organized crime gangster. One panelist on CNN said on Friday after watching Yovanovitch’s testify that Trump’s witness intimidation tweets were “criminal.”