An emotional testimony Friday from Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. President Donald Trump fired her in May and called her “bad news” in a phone call to the leader of Ukraine over the summer.
Yovanovitch was the third witness in the impeachment inquiry hearings so far.
The reason for her firing was a big focus of the second hearing.
Everyone agrees ambassadors are to serve at the pleasure of the President, but democrats claim Trump’s motivation was not in the best interest of the country.
In a surprising tweet during the hearing, the President defended his decision.
The tweet said,
“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.”
“I don’t think I have such powers,” responded Yovanovitch.
Democrats claim President Donald Trump abused his power when he fired U.S. Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. They say it was the result of a smear campaign inspired by corrupt Ukrainian officials and Trump’s attorney.
“And now the president in real-time is attacking you, what effect do you think that has on other witnesses’ willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing in?” asked Rep. Adam Schiff to Yovanovitch.
“Well, it’s very intimidating,” she responded.
Following the hearing, a reporter asked Trump whether he felt his tweets and words are intimidating. He said he did not believe they were.
Former George W. Bush White House Spokesman Pete Seat said the public needs to question witness credibility in these hearings as well as the credibility of those asking the questions.
“View this responsibly and view this through an open lens,” said Seat. “Hear both sides, listen to the evidence and the counter-evidence.”
Seat said so far, he hasn’t seen anything that would change partisan opinions about impeachment.
“We’ll have to see what happens in the coming weeks, but I would just caution everyone to take a step back and chill out,” said Seat.
Hearings resume Tuesday featuring several witnesses including Jennifer Williams, an advisor to Vice President Mike Pence.