Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave public testimony Friday regarding the circumstances of her abrupt ouster from her post as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Catch up quickly:
5 things we learned from Yovanovitch's public testimony
- Including stirring testimony, a GOP strategy and how Russia benefited ...
Trump defends attacking Yovanovitch after Dems accuse him of 'witness intimidation'
- “I have the right to speak. I have the freedom of speech just as other people do,” Trump told reporters.
Analysis: The devastating day Trump's presidency came into sharp focus
- Also: A fate worse than firing — humiliation. "All we have is our reputations," Yovanovitch said.
Yovanovitch says Trump admin kneecapped her diplomatic efforts
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ANALYSIS: The devastating day Trump's presidency came into sharp focus — in Congress, the White House and court
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's worlds collided in devastating fashion in Washington on Friday, exposing legal and political vulnerabilities that Democrats want to exploit as he works to survive impeachment and his 2020 re-election bid.
All three branches of government demonstrated, in one day and in unmatchable high-profile fashion, the cost Trump and his loyalists have been willing to impose on the nation and its citizens — including members of his inner circle at times — in pursuit of political and personal aims. And ultimately, those costs are at the heart of the argument Democrats will make for ousting Trump, one way or the other.
"The powers of the presidency are immense, but they are not absolute and they cannot be used for corrupt purpose," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said on Friday. "The American people expect the president to use the authority they grant him in service of the nation, not to destroy others to advance his personal or political interests."
Read the full analysis here.
Madeleine Albright: 'I have been inspired by' Kent, Taylor, Yovanovitch
Trump campaign's McEnany: 'This has been a complete waste of everyone’s time'
“As both Adam Schiff and Marie Yovanovitch acknowledged, ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the president, who can dismiss them at any time for any reason, or no reason at all," Trump campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. "Yovanovitch has no personal knowledge of anything the Democrats are using in their bogus quest for impeachment. This has been a complete waste of everyone’s time and a disservice to the taxpayers.”
Trump asks Supreme Court to block House subpoena for his financial records
WASHINGTON — Lawyers for President Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday to put a hold on a subpoena from a House committee seeking eight years of his financial documents.
The case may produce the first action by the justices on the growing number of legal battles over access to Donald Trump's financial secrets. A lower court order upholding the subpoena takes effect on Nov. 20. So unless the Supreme Court acts quickly, the president's accounting firm, Mazars, will be required to turn the material over.
The Trump legal team told the justices in a court filing on Friday that if the lower court rulings are allowed to stand, any committee of Congress could subpoena any personal information it wants from a president.
"Given the temptation to dig up dirt on political rivals, intrusive subpoenas into personal lives of presidents will become our new normal in times of divided government — no matter which party is in power," Trump's team said.
Trump defends attacking Yovanovitch after Democrats accuse him of 'witness intimidation'
WASHINGTON — Democrats may see it as "witness intimidation," but President Donald Trump says he was just offering his opinion when he bashed his former ambassador to Ukraine during her public testimony in the impeachment inquiry.
“I have the right to speak. I have the freedom of speech just as other people do,” Trump told reporters at the White House Friday hours after a tweet that Democrats equated with witness tampering.
"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 tweeted as Yovanovitch was testifying before the House Intelligence Committee.
Democrats suggested the tweet was tantamount to a criminal act, and could be added to possible articles of impeachment. During a break in testimony, committee chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., called the tweet "witness intimidation in real time." He also read Trump's tweets to Yovanovitch during the hearing and asked her to respond.
“Where I've served over the years, I and others have demonstrably made things better,” she said, including in Ukraine.
White House's Gidley responds to questions about discrepancy on April call
White House principal deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley gave a statement in response to questions about the discrepancy between the April readout (released months ago) of the call between Trump and Zelenskiy, which said the president emphasized rooting out corruption, and memo on the call (released Friday), in which there was no mention of such a thing.
“The President continues to push for transparency in light of these baseless accusations and has taken the unprecedented steps to release the transcripts of both phone calls with President Zelensky so that every American can see he did nothing wrong," Gidley said. "It is standard operating procedure for the National Security Council to provide readouts of the President’s phone calls with foreign leaders. This one was prepared by the NSC’s Ukraine expert.”