The problem with being in the central time zone is that the east coast can go to hell before I’ve had coffee. While Marie Yovanovitch has been testifying this morning, Trump was tweeting insults at her in real time. For example,
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019
Minutes later, Schiff interrupted questions from Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman to ask Yovanovitch about the tweets.
“Would you like to respond to the president’s attack that everywhere you went turned bad?” Schiff asked after reading parts of the tweets to her.
“I don’t think I have such powers,” Yovanovitch responded. “I actually think that where I served over the years, I and others, have demonstrably made things better.”
Schiff then turned Trump’s motivation in sending the tweets. “What effect do you think that has on other witnesses willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing?”
“It’s very intimidating,” Yovanovitch said.
Schiff added, “Some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously.”
Some of you probably saw this; let’s just say I’m not a morning person. MAGA-ites won’t care, but Normals who might be on the fence about impeaching Trump (how can anyone still be on the fence?) are probably not thinking warm, fuzzy thoughts about Trump right now.
See also Trump blows Republicans’ entire Yovanovitch hearing strategy with a single tweet. I can imagine Trump’s lawyers pounding on the bathroom door, yelling DROP THAT CELLPHONE!
Republicans pounced on the inconsistencies to try to discredit Mr. Sondland, a wealthy hotelier and Trump campaign donor who had no diplomatic experience before the president installed him as an ambassador.
“I think that if Ambassador Sondland’s credibility is questioned, it makes it really hard for the Democrats to impeach, because everything is based on Ambassador Sondland,” said Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina.
During a rally on Thursday night in Louisiana, Mr. Trump appeared to be trying to do just that. He read aloud from a news article that included new remarks by Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, who said Mr. Sondland had never told him or other officials he knew of a connection between the military aid and the investigations.
So, obviously, they’re throwing Sondland under the bus to discredit his eventual testimony about the phone call. I understand he’s scheduled for Wednesday.
I’m not going to predict what Sondland will do, however. He’s an amateur. I don’t know what motivated him to buy a pass into Trump World, but it probably wasn’t patriotism. But did he notice that Roger Stone was convicted on all counts?