Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff accused President Trump of intimidating a witness because of a tweet he published during the testimony of former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch during her congressional testimony on Friday, signaling that the Dems could use the charge in their push to impeach the president.
In a dramatic moment during Yovanovitch’s testimony, Adam Schiff read aloud a tweet that President Trump published while the diplomat was testifying, The Daily Caller reported.
Adam Schiff said that President Trump’s tweet rose to the level of possible witness intimidation, even though Yovanovitch was not aware of the comments until notified by Schiff.
“As we sit here testifying the president is attacking you on Twitter,” Schiff said.
“It’s designed to intimidate, is it not?” Schiff asked after reading the tweet.
Then he previewed one direction he might take in the impeachment proceedings against the President.
“I want to let you know, ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously,” he said.
So far, during the impeachment inquiry the Dems have suggested that President Trump abused his office in his dealings toward Ukraine. The investigation centers on whether the President pressured the Ukrainian government to open investigations into a company linked to Hunter Biden, as well as into whether Ukrainians meddled in the 2016 presidential election to help Hillary Clinton.
The Dems have not said exactly what high crimes and misdemeanors they believe President Trump committed, though some have hinted at the crimes of bribery or extortion.
Rep. Adam Schiff reiterated the witness intimidation allegation during an intermission in Yovanovitch’s testimony.
“We saw today witness intimidation in real-time by the president of the United States, once again going after this dedicated, respected, career public servant in an effort not only to chill her, but to chill others who might come forward,” he told CNN’s Manu Raju.
“We take this kind of witness intimidation … very seriously.”