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  • Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is sworn in prior to providing testimony before the House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington.

    Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is sworn in prior to providing testimony before the House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 November 2019

U.S. President wrote a message against Marie Yovanovitch while she was attending an impeachment inquiry public hearing.

As former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted a message mentioning her, which may be considered an act of "witness intimidation" in the context of investigations before a possible impeachment process.

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"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," Trump said.

When the U.S. President t blasted Yovanovitch, she was describing how she had fought corruption in Ukraine and how Washington abruptly removed her from her post earlier this year.​​​​​​​

Representative Adam Schiff, who chairs the impeachment investigation hearing, asked Yovanovitch for her reaction to Trump's tweet. She said it was “very intimidating.”

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

Schiff replied: “Well, I want to let you know, Ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously.”​​​​​​​

Furthermore, Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell told reporters this attack could be considered for a separate article of impeachment against Trump for obstruction of justice.

Nevertheless, the U.S. President told reporters he did not think his tweets were intimidating.

“I have the right to speak. I have freedom of speech just as other people do,” Trump replied.​​​​​​​

One of the first officials to come to his rescue was the White House Secretary Stephanie Grisham who hold a similar opinion.

“Te tweet was not 'witness intimidation.' It was simply the President’s opinion, which he is entitled to," Grisman said and added, "this is not a trial, it is a partisan political process.”

On the other hand, Democrat David Cicilline wrote on the platform: “Ambassador Yovanovitch is a patriot. What the President and his cronies did to her is despicable.”

Robert Menendez, another representative of the party leading the impeachment, stated that U.S State Department employees do not deserve retaliation.

“They deserve our thanks, not our scorn. And above all else, they deserve leaders who will defend them, not desert them when it matters most.”​​​​​​​

Marie Yovanovitch was removed from her post as ambassador to Kiev in May after coming under attack by Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

At that time, Giuliani was working to persuade the government of Ukraine to carry out investigations that would allegedly benefit Trump's political career.​​​​​​​

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