Schiff Accuses Trump of Witness Intimidation by Tweeting About Marie Yovanovitch As She Testifies

Posted: Nov 15, 2019 11:45 AM

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) accused President Trump of witness intimidation after he posted tweets about former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch as she testified on Friday. Schiff interrupted the hearing to read the tweets to Yovanovitch.

"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," one of Trump's tweets read.

When the second day of the impeachment inquiry hearings paused so House members could participate in votes, Schiff made the following accusation to a group of reporters.

"What we saw today is it wasn't enough that Ambassador Yovanovitch was smeared. It wasn't enough she was attacked. It wasn't enough enough that she was recalled for no reason, at least no good reason. But we saw today witness intimidation in real-time by the president of United States," Schiff said. 

"Once again going after this dedicated and respected career public servant in an effort to not only chilled her, but to chill others who may come forward. We take this kind of witness intimidation and obstruction of the inquiry very seriously," he added.

Schiff did not respond to whether believes witness intimidation is an impeachable offense.

During her opening statement, Yovanovitch reaffirmed she does not have firsthand knowledge about Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The whistleblower's complaint about the phone call is what started the impeachment inquiry.