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Friday, April 3, 2020
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Trump shocks, assails ousted ambassador

WASHINGTON, D. C.: In chilling detail, ousted US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch described to Trump impeachment investigators how she felt threatened upon learning that President Donald Trump had promised Ukraine’s leader she was “going to go through some things.”
Unwilling to stay silent during Yovanovitch’s testimony, Trump focused even greater national attention on the House hearing by becoming a participant.
He tweeted fresh criticism of her, saying that things “turned bad” everywhere she served before he fired her—a comment that quickly was displayed on a video screen in the hearing room.
Rather than distract from the career diplomat’s testimony, Trump’s interference could provide more evidence against him in the probe.
Democrat Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Trump’s attacks were “part of a patter to obstruct justice” and could be part of an article of impeachment.
Asked about the potential effect of a presidential threat on other officials or witnesses, Yovanovitch replied, “Well, it’s very intimidating.”
When she saw in print what the president had said about her, she said, a friend told her all the color drained from her face. She was “shocked, appalled, devastated” at what was happening after a distinguished 30-year career in the US Foreign Service.
Unabashed, Trump said when asked about it later, “I have the right to speak. I have freedom of speech.”
But not all Republicans thought it was wise. Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming said Trump’s live tweeting at the ambassador was wrong. She said, “I don’t think the president should have done that.”
The former ambassador was testifying on the second day of public impeachment hearings, just the fourth time in American history that the House of Representatives has launched such proceedings. AP


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