One of the stunning details that hadn't been publicized much until today is something that Katie pointed out earlier: When Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch got the mysterious call to come home immediately because her security was at risk, she was at an event. The event happened to be in honor of a woman who had been fighting corruption in Ukraine, who had been recognized for her efforts by the United States. "She very tragically died because she was attacked by acid," Yovanovitch explained, and she "died a very, very painful death."
"Was it ever determined who threw the acid and killed her?" an attorney for the Democrats asked.
"There have been investigations, but while some of the lower-ranking individuals who were involved with this have been arrested, those who ordered this have not been apprehended." Yikes. She went on to reiterate that the reason she was being called back to the US was that "there were concerns about my security."
This exchange happens at the very start of this video:
The second stunning moment this morning came when President Trump started harassing Yovanovitch while she was testifying by tweeting about her.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said, "As we sit here testifying, the President is attacking you on Twitter, and I'd like to give you a chance to respond."
Referring to the line from the partial transcript of the Ukraine call where the President said she's "going to go through some things," Schiff went on: "The president implicitly threatened you in that call record. And now the president in real time is attacking you. What effect do you think that has on other witnesses' willingness to come forward?"
"It's very intimidating," Yovanovitch says.
"Some of us take witness intimidation very seriously," Schiff says.
Here is video of that exchange:
Some of the responses to this from outside observers:
Witness intimidation is a crime, no matter who does it. Full stop.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 15, 2019
The president just demonstrated witness intimidation & obstruction of justice in real time. Yuvanovitch is a dedicated, truth-telling, career foreign service official who knows how to put country first, over partisanship. Trumps actions are truly dangerous. https://t.co/Ex0W6iV1lT
— Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) November 15, 2019
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
Note: that last guy is a Fox News anchor. On the record agreeing with Hillary Clinton. And what are they in agreement about? That the President just broke the law. What a day.
The President's spokesperson, for what it's worth—and it's worth noting—says that that was not witness intimidation but "simply the President's opinion, which he is entitled to." LOL.
Meanwhile, Roger Stone was found guilty of seven felonies including witness tampering.