House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) suggested President Trump’s tweets attacking former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch during Friday’s public impeachment hearing could be considered witness intimidation.
“As we sit here testifying, the president is attacking you on Twitter,” Schiff said, reading the tweets out loud.
“Ambassador, you’ve shown the courage to come forward today and testify, notwithstanding the fact that you were encouraged by the White House and the State Department not to, notwithstanding the fact that as you testified earlier the president implicitly threatened you in that call record, and now the president in real time is attacking you,” Schiff continued.
“What effect do you think that has on other witnesses’ willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing?” he asked.
When Yovanovitch called it “very intimidating,” Schiff responded, “it’s designed to be intimidating, is it not?” Yovanovitch said she could not speak to its intent, but that intimidation was the “effect.”
“I want to let you know, ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously,” Schiff replied.