Trump accused of witness intimidation for tweets during impeachment hearing

President Donald Trump attacked former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch on Twitter on Friday as she testified as part of an impeachment hearing in the House of Representatives.

The tweet has drawn criticism—including from Yavanovitch, who was asked about the tweet during her testimony—calling it “very intimidating.”

“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,” the president wrote in a string of tweets. “….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.”

The president’s tweets were read to Yovanovitch shortly after they were posted by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who asked her whether the tweets could have an effect on others to “come forward and expose wrongdoing.”

“It’s very intimidating,” she said. “I can’t speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating.”

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

The president’s tweets were criticized by both his critics and even some conservatives.

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Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).