Is that enough pizzazz for you?
Ousted U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch had barely been in the Capitol for an hour when President Trump "committed a crime while we're watching," journalist Marcy Wheeler tweeted Friday. That's because as Yovanovitch gave her public impeachment testimony, Trump attacked her in a tweet - something Wheeler is joining The New York Times' Michael Schmidt and Fox News' Bret Baier in suggesting amounts to witness tampering.
Republicans' first aim in Friday's impeachment hearing was to avoid attacking Yovanovitch so she didn't earn any more sympathy points from viewers. But Trump destroyed that strategy with one fell tweet, claiming "everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad," naming her work in Somalia and then Ukraine as examples. House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) had Yovanovitch address the tweet, or "witness intimidation," as he called it, and Yovanovitch agreed it was "very intimidating."
In his live analysis for the Times, Schmidt concurred. "How are Trump's tweets not witness tampering? She's testifying. He's attacking her. And now she has to respond to it," he wrote. And, more surprisingly, Baier seemed to take Yovanovitch's side as well.
That was a turning point in this hearing so far. She was already a sympathetic witness & the President's tweet ripping her allowed Schiff to point it out real time characterizing it as witness tampering or intimidation -adding an article of impeachment real-time. https://t.co/HSCkGMIqmH
- Bret Baier (@BretBaier) November 15, 2019
A senior GOP source added to Baier's speculation, telling Fox News correspondent Chad Pergram "we didn't need that." And Ken Starr, famously the author of the report that led to former President Bill Clinton's impeachment, appeared on the network to condemn Trump for his "quite injurious" move, saying "sometimes, we have to control our instincts."