Witness tampering as the witness testifies

Well this seems to have been a crazy morning in DC. Roger Stone was found guilty, Marie Yovanovitch testified, Trump told bullying lies about her on Twitter while she was testifying, which kind of takes my breath away, Republicans tried to break a rule about who can ask questions so that they could put on a show of outrage when Schiff wouldn’t let them break the rule…and here it’s not even ten yet.

Trump’s witness intimidation in plain sight:

Trump has sent off a two-part tweet questioning the professional reputation of Maria Yovanovitch as the former US ambassador to Ukraine publicly testifies in the impeachment inquiry.

Yovanovitch, a longtime diplomat, has served in several “hardship posts,” including Somalia as the country was suffering a civil war.

Trump tweeted:

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.

….They call it “serving at the pleasure of the President.” The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding administrations. It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O.

Presidents don’t have “absolute” rights. Trump has repeatedly exclaimed about his “absolute” right to do this or that, which is not a normal way for presidents to talk in public, even the more dictatorial and out of control ones.

Schiff’s staff handed printouts of Trump’s tweets to intel members on the dais.

Yovanovitch said the State Department is a mess.

She described a “crisis” in the state department “as the policy process is visibly unravelling, leadership vacancies go unfilled, and senior and midlevel officers ponder an uncertain future and head for the doors”.

Yovanovitch added: “The state department is being hollowed out from within at a competitive and complex time on the world stage. This is not a time to undercut our diplomats.”

Such sentiments have been aired frequently during the tenures of both Rex Tillerson and Pompeo, but never on such a prominent stage for all the world to hear.

Never mind, the president has “the absolute right” to destroy the State Department.

Schiff read Trump’s intimidation tweets aloud.

After reading Trump’s tweet attacking the reputation of Maria Yovanovitch, Adam Schiff asked the longtime diplomat whether she thought the tweet was meant to intimidate her as she testified at the impeachment hearing.

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Yovanovitch responded, “I can’t speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating.”

Schiff ominously replied, “I want to let you know, ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously.”

We’re covering ourselves in mud and shit, day after day, year after year.

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