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'A turning point in this hearing': Fox personalities speculate if Trump-Yovanovitch tweet could lead to witness intimidation charges

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 11/15/2019 Mike Brest

Video by ABC News

Multiple Fox News personalities speculated that President Trump's insulting tweet toward former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine could result in witness tampering and witness intimidation charges.

The president denigrated the former ambassador while she was testifying in front of the House Intelligence Committee on Friday morning. While she was on Capitol Hill, Trump tweeted that, "Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go?" He also pointed out that administration officials serve at the pleasure of the president.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff read the tweet aloud during the hearing and asked Yovanovitch to respond to it.

"I mean, I — I don’t think I have such powers, not in Mogadishu and Somalia and not in other places," she answered. "I actually think that where I’ve served over the years, I and others have demonstrably made things better, you know, for the U.S. as well as for the countries that I’ve served in."

Schiff then warned the president that, "some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously."

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A number of Fox News personalities were quick to point out that the president's tweet could ultimately prove to be ill-advised during the first extended break in her testimony.

Bret Baier tweeted, "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."

Chris Wallace echoed that sentiment on-air, "Most importantly, and I agree with Bret [Baier] here, I think that the really dramatic moment is that this wasn't just testimony about the past, this played out in real-time with the president attacking her and saying that every place she served went back, and she was asked by Adam Schiff, do you see that as an effort to intimidate you and other witnesses, and she said 'I feel that is quite intimidating.' And that does raise the possibility of witness intimidation and witness tampering as a new charge here."

Senior White House correspondent John Roberts, reporting from outside the White House, also said that "What we may have just seen, as has been mentioned unfold in real-time there, is the potential basis for articles of impeachment on witness intimidation. I'm not sure that the president's tweet that he sent out while she was on the stand was particularly well advised."


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