Ousted ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is given standing ovation after impeachment hearing during which Schiff called out Trump for 'witness intimidation' after he tweeted during her testimony: 'Everywhere Marie went turned bad' (28 Pics)

Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was given a standing ovation by members of the audience at the end of Friday's hearing during which she said she felt threatened by remarks Donald Trump made about her in his July 25 call with his Ukrainian counterpart, while Rep. Adam Schiff charged the U.S. president with witness intimidation for tweeting criticism of her during her testimony.  
Yovanovitch recalled in stark, personal terms how she felt when she was attacked by Trump associates and later disparaged by the president himself in his phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky.
'I was shocked and devastated that I would feature in a phone call between two heads of state in such a manner where President Trump said that I was bad news to another world leader and that I would be going through some things,' Yovanovitch said during her public testimony in Trump's impeachment inquiry.
'It sounded like a threat,' she noted. 
As Democrats were questioning her about a smear campaign against her, President Trump took to Twitter to wage a fresh round of insults against the former ambassador - a move House Intelligence Committee Committee Chairman Adam Schiff called 'witness intimidation.' 
'Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,' Trump wrote on the social media platform while Yovanovitch sat at the witness table on Capitol Hill. 'It is a U.S. President's absolute right to appoint ambassadors.'
Schiff accused the president of trying to intimidate Yovanovitch and other potential witnesses. House Democrats will hold a series of public hearings next week with more officials scheduled to discuss the impeachment inquiry. 
'What we saw was witness intimidation in real time by the President of the United States. Once again going after this dedicated and respected career public servant – in an effort to not only chill her but to chill others who may come forward. We take this kind of witness intimidation and obstruction of inquiry very seriously,' Schiff told reporters outside the hearing room during a break in the proceedings. 
He did not respond to a question as to whether witness intimidation is an impeachable offense. 
The president denied intimidation was his motive.
'I don't think so at all,' he told reporters at the White House. 
'It's a political process. It's not a legal process. So if I have somebody saying -- I'm allowed to speak up. If somebody says about me - we're not allowed to have any kind of representation. We're not allowed to have almost anything, and nobody's seen anything like it. In the history of our country there has never been a disgrace like what's going on right now. So you know what? I have the right to speak. I have freedom of speech just as other people do. But they've taken away Republicans' rights,' Trump noted.
Trump's tweet gave the hearing a moment of high drama as Schiff interrupted questioning from the Democrats' own counsel to ask Yovanovitch to respond to the tweet in real time.
Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, is testifying Friday on Capitol Hill before the House Intelligence Committee in the second televised impeachment hearing
Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, is testifying Friday on Capitol Hill before the House Intelligence Committee in the second televised impeachment hearing
The five-hour questioning saw members of the audience jump up and give the ambassador a round of applause - an unusual display in a Congressional hearing
The five-hour questioning saw members of the audience jump up and give the ambassador a round of applause - an unusual display in a Congressional hearing

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., began the hearing at 9am with opening remarks. He praised Yovanovich's stance on fighting corruption and argued it was her dedication to that fight that ending up 'pissing off' the wrong people in the Trump administration
The longtime diplomat was removed from her post after Giuliani and his allies spread information, swatted down by a series of witnesses, that she was working against Trump, she claimed
The longtime diplomat was removed from her post after Giuliani and his allies spread information, swatted down by a series of witnesses, that she was working against Trump, she claimed
The five-hour questioning saw members of the audience jump up and give the ambassador a round of applause - an unusual display in a Congressional hearing.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the acting chair of the House Oversight Committee, joined the audience in the standing ovation, as Republican members including Reps. Mark Meadows and Lee Zeldin got up to leave. 
Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Conaway shouted objections over the clanking of Schiff's and the round of applause.
'You've disparaged those members on this side of the aisle, we should have a chance to respond,' Rep. Conway objected
Trump's tweets on Friday were a notable move from the president who bragged he didn't watch Wednesday's public hearing, which featured public testimony from the top U.S. diplomat in the Ukraine Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent. 
'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,' he wrote. Mogadishu was one of Yovanovitch's postings early in her career but she was a young State Department staffer at the time and not at ambassador level.
Trump then argued he's done more for the Ukraine than Barack Obama.
'They call it 'serving at the pleasure of the President.' The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding administrations. It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O,' Trump wrote. 
Yovanovitch said the president was crediting her with too much power.
'I don't think I have such powers not in Mogadishu and Somalia and not in other places. I actually think that where I've served over the years I and others have demonstrably made things better,' she said.  
Schiff asked her if tweets like these from the president would intimidate other witnesses from testifying.
'Ambassador, you've shown the courage to come forward today and testify. Notwithstanding the fact that you were urged by the White House or State Department not to, notwithstanding the fact that as you testified earlier 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 and expose wrongdoing in,' Schiff asked her.
'It's very intimidating,' she replied.
'It's designed to intimidate, is it not?,' Schiff said.
'I mean, I can't speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is trying to be intimidating,' she replied.
Schiff said Trump's tweet on Yavonovitch was part of a 'pattern' of obstruction of justice, which is an impeachable offense.
In strong language, the chairman called it an 'incriminating pattern of conduct' on the president's part.
'This is not something that we view in isolation, this is part of a pattern of the president of the United States,' he told reporters after the hearing was over.
'And it's also part of a pattern to obstruct the investigation. It was also a part, frankly, of the pattern to obstruct justice. So we need to view the President's actions today, as part of a broader and incriminating pattern of conduct,' he added.

President Trump tweeted during Friday's hearing bashing Yovanovitch, saying everywhere she 'went turned bad'. The tweet gave the hearing a moment of high drama as Schiff interrupted questioning from the Democrats' own counsel to ask Yovanovitch to respond to the tweet in real time
President Trump tweeted during Friday's hearing bashing Yovanovitch, saying everywhere she 'went turned bad'. The tweet gave the hearing a moment of high drama as Schiff interrupted questioning from the Democrats' own counsel to ask Yovanovitch to respond to the tweet in real time

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff accused President Trump of trying to intimidate Yovanovitch with his tweets
Republicans refused to address the president's tweets in their post hearing press conference.
'We're not here to talk about tweets,' Rep. Elise Stefanik said. 'We're here to talk about impeachment.'
'I don't know it was an attack on the witness,' added in Rep. Mark Meadows, who is one of the president's strongest allies on Capitol Hill. He called it a 'characterization of her resume.' 
Schiff, who has been trying to get other administration officials to testify - several of whom are obeying the president's request to ignore their congressional subpoenas -  said witness intimidate is taken 'very seriously.'
'I want you to know, ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very seriously,' he said.
The White House shot down a charge from Democrats the president's tweets were witness intimidation.
'The tweet was not witness intimidation, it was simply the President's opinion, which he is entitled to. This is not a trial, it is a partisan political process—or to put it more accurately, a totally illegitimate, charade stacked against the President. There is less due process in this hearing than any such event in the history of our country. It's a true disgrace,' White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.  
Meanwhile, Yovanovitch said she first learned Trump mentioned her in his phone call with Zelensky when she read the transcript of the July 25 call in September, which is when the White House released it.
She choked up a bit when describing her reaction to the president's words.
'A person who saw me actually reading the transcript said that the color drained from my face,' she said.  
'A person who saw me actually reading the transcript said that the color drained from my face,' Yovanovitch said of learning President Trump badmouthed her in his July phone call with the Ukrainian president
'A person who saw me actually reading the transcript said that the color drained from my face,' Yovanovitch said of learning President Trump badmouthed her in his July phone call with the Ukrainian president 
Yovanovitch was given a standing ovation by members of the audience at the end of Friday's hearing by members of the audience
Yovanovitch was given a standing ovation by members of the audience at the end of Friday's hearing by members of the audience 
She expressed her disbelief she was a topic of conversation between the two world leaders.
'I mean, shocked, appalled, devastated that the president of the United States would talk about any ambassador like that to a foreign head of state, and it was me,' she said.
The call transcript, which kicked off the scandal that led to House Democrats opening up an impeachment inquiry, included a back-and-forth between Trump and Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky where the American president said Yovanovitch, 'the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in Ukraine were bad news.' She had been recalled to the United States at that point.
Zelensky agreed. 
He asked Trump to provide 'any additional information' he might have about Yovanovitch 'for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine.' 
In the call transcript, which isn't verbatim, Zelensky butchers Yovanovitch's name. 
'It was great that you were the first one who told me she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100 percent,' Zelensky goes on. 'Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous president and she was on his side.' 
Yovanovitch shot down Republican efforts to pull her into questions longtime Democratic consultant and Ukrainian-American activist Alexandra Chalupa
Yovanovitch shot down Republican efforts to pull her into questions longtime Democratic consultant and Ukrainian-American activist Alexandra Chalupa
'She would not accept me as the new president well enough,' Zelensky added.   
At that, Trump responded, 'Well, she's going to go through some things.'
Yovanovitch on Friday testified she thought Trump's words were a threat against her.
'She's going to go through some things. It didn't sound good. It sounded like a threat,' she said.
'Did you feel threatened?,' Daniel Goldman, the Democrats' Counsel on the Intelligence panel, asked her.
'I did,' she replied. 'I didn't know exactly. It's not a very precise phrase, but I think - it didn't feel like I was - I really don't know how to answer the question any further except to say that it kind felt like a vague threat and so I wondered what had that meant. It was a concern to me.'
Yovanovitch, in her testimony, conceded the past few months have been a 'difficult time.'
'I mean, I'm a private person. I don't want to put all that out there, but it's been a very, very difficult time because the president does have the right to have his own or her own ambassador in every country in the world,' she said.
She declined to talk about her family was affected.
'I really don't want to get into that. Thank you for asking,' she told Democratic Rep. Terri Sewell.
She also told Sewell that 'no,' she was not a 'Never Trumper' when the congresswoman asked her about it.
Yovanovitch also described the advice EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland gave her when she was struggling to stay ambassador to the Ukraine.
'Well, he suggested that I needed to go big or go home and he said that the best thing to do would be to, you know, send out a tweet, praise the president, that sort of thing,' she said.
'My reaction was that I'm sure he meant well, but it was not advice that I could really follow. It felt partisan. It felt political and that was not something that I thought was in keeping with my role as ambassador as a foreign service officer,' she added.
Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley asked her of Sondland: 'Did he give you suggestions what to say to the president of the United States? Or just say something nice about him?'
'Just praise him,' Yovanovitch replied. 
Republicans used their question time to query Yovanovitch about her time in the Ukraine during the 2016 election and about allegations – pushed by President Trump and Giuliani – that the Ukraine interfered in that contest.
She pushed back against those questions and pointed out American intelligence agencies found it was Russia who sought to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Steve Castor, the Republican counsel who led the questioning, asked her if she heard of any 'indication of Ukrainians trying to advocate against then-candidate Trump?'
'Actually, there weren't. We didn't really see it that way,' she replied.
Yovanovitch also shot down Republican efforts to pull her into questions longtime Democratic consultant and Ukrainian-American activist Alexandra Chalupa.
Republicans want Chalupa to testify in the impeachment inquiry.
Chalupa reportedly worked with a small group of Ukrainian bureaucrats who allegedly researched former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's Russia ties during the 2016 election.
Castor quizzed the former ambassador about Chalupa's reported actions in the 2016 election.
'Well, I was the ambassador in Ukraine starting in August of 2016. And what you're describing, if true, as you said, what you're describing took place in the United States. So if there were concerns about what Ms. Chalupa was doing, I think that would have been handled here,' Yovanovitch replied.
She was also quizzed about Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian journalist that Giuliani accused of exposing Manafort's work for the Ukraine. That work – for which Manafort did not register as a foreign agent – led to convictions against the former Trump campaign manager.
Leshchenko published the so-called 'black ledgers' that showed payments to Manafort and his firm.
Yovanovitch said she felt threatened, shocked and devastated by remarks Donald Trump made about her in his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Yovanovitch said she felt threatened, shocked and devastated by remarks Donald Trump made about her in his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky
Ranking committee member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif, questions former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch as she testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, during the second public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump
Ranking committee member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif, questions former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch as she testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, during the second public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump
A tweet from President Donald Trump was displayed on a monitor during the second public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents
A tweet from President Donald Trump was displayed on a monitor during the second public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents
'About Mr. Leschenko, he is an investigative journalist, as you said, and he got access to the black ledger and he published it, as I think journalists would do, and again, I'm not sure that - I don't have any information to suggest that that was targeting President Trump,' Yovanovitch said.
'At the end of the day, President Trump won the election,' she pointed out.
She was also asked about posts from former Ukrainian Minister for Internal Affairs Arsen Borysovych Avakov, who wrote criticisms of Trump on social media during the 2016 election.
'Sometimes that happens in social media. Are you asking me whether it's appropriate? Probably not,' she said.
'I can't speak for what President Trump thought or what others thought. I would just say that those elements that you've recited don't seem to me to be the Ukranian kind of a plan or a plot of the Ukranian government to work against President Trump or anyone else. I mean, they're isolated incidents. We all know, I'm coming to find out myself, that public life can be -- people are critical. That does not mean that someone is or a government is undermining either a campaign or interfering in elections. I would just remind again that our own U.S. Intelligence committee has conclusively determined that those who interfered in the election were in Russia,' Yovanovitch said.
She also said she doesn't think the president accepted any bribes or has been involved in any criminal activity. 
Top U.S. diplomats accused Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani of running a 'smear' campaign to force out Yavonovitch, who was recalled from her post to Washington. She says no reason was ever provided for her ouster
Top U.S. diplomats accused Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani of running a 'smear' campaign to force out Yavonovitch, who was recalled from her post to Washington. She says no reason was ever provided for her ouster 
Republicans attempted to start their questioning of Yovanovitch with a move that would allow the only Republican lawmaker on the Intelligence panel - Rep. Elise Stefanik – question the former ambassador.
Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the panel, tried to yield his time to Stefanik.
But Schiff pointed out the rules only allow the ranking member to yield time to the Republican counsel.
'You are not recognized,' he told Stefanik.
'This is the fifth time you have interrupted,' Stefanik complained to Schiff.
He ignored her and told Nunes to yield to his GOP Counsel or question Yovanovitch himself.
Nunes ultimately yielded to Castor.
But the top Republican used his time to argue the intelligence committee has become the impeachment committee.
'I'm not exactly sure what the ambassador is doing here today. This is the House intelligence committee that's now turned into the House impeachment committee. This seems more appropriate for the subcommittee on human resources at the foreign affairs committee. If there's issues with employment, it seems like that would be a more appropriate setting instead of an impeachment hearing where the ambassador is not a material fact witness to any of the accusations that are being hurled at the president for this impeachment inquiry,' he said.
Democrats went first in Friday's hearing and used their time to question Yovanovitch to lay out a 'smear' campaign against her by Trump allies, particularly former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal attorney.
She repeated what she had said in her closed door testimony to lawmakers last month – that she had been warned by Ukrainian officials that Giuliani was up to something with Yuriy Lutsenko, the former top prosecutor in the Ukraine.
Asked who else was involved in the 'smear' campaign, she said: 'There were some members of the press and others in Mayor Giuliani's circle.'
She also said Lutsenko and his predecessor Viktor Shokin were involved on the Ukrainian side. 
Shokin is the prosecutor that then Vice President Joe Biden pressured Ukraine to fire because he wasn't doing enough to root out corruption. 
That action by Biden has become part of the 2020 presidential campaign. 
Trump is being investigated for allegations he with held nearly $400 million in military assistance from the Ukraine unless officials agreed to investigate the Bidens and unproven allegations about the 2016 election.
The president has denied any wrong doing and the money eventually made it to the Ukraine.
Republican staff attorney Steve Castor, left, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, listen to former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testify
Republican staff attorney Steve Castor, left, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, listen to former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testify
Rep. Devin Nunes tried to yield his time to Rep Elise Stefanik (pictured), but Schiff pointed out the rules only allow the ranking member to yield time to the Republican counsel. 'You are not recognized,' he told Stefanik
Rep. Devin Nunes tried to yield his time to Rep Elise Stefanik (pictured), but Schiff pointed out the rules only allow the ranking member to yield time to the Republican counsel. 'You are not recognized,' he told Stefanik
Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee listen as former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies
Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee listen as former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies
Yovanovitch, 61, is one of the central figures in the Democrats investigation. Trump recalled her May of this year after what other diplomats called a coordinated smear campaign against her, which included articles in conservative friendly media and tweets from Republican allies.
Giuliani, in a statement on Friday, said he obtained his information about her from numerous sources. 
'The information I obtained about Yovanovitch was in the nature of evidence from a number of witnesses. All of them -- some allies, some opponents -- agreed on Ambassador Yovanovitch's wrongdoing, from telling people that Trump will be impeached, to getting the George Soros case and others dismissed, to her embassy's partisan involvement in the 2016 election,' he said. 
Yovanovitch, meanwhile, said she felt terrible when she was recalled and was told the president lost confidence in her ability to do the job.
'Terrible honestly. I mean, after 33 years of service to our country it was terrible. It's not the way I wanted my career to end,' she said of her recall.
She also described her concern when talked about the 'smear' campaign against her that led up to that moment, which included tweets from Donald Trump Jr., Sean Hannity and others that cited John Solomon, who then wrote for The Hill newspaper. Solomon wrote several pieces that pushed for her removal and he was a regular on Fox News.
'I was worried,' she said of the campaign.
She also offered political cover to Biden in the coming presidential race when she said he was supporting U.S. and international policy when he came to the Ukraine as vice president to push for Shokin's removal as prosecutor general.
'Official U.S. policy and that was endorsed and was the policy of a number of other international stakeholders, other countries, other monetary institutions, financial institutions,' she said of Biden's request to the Ukrainians. 
'And in fact if he helped to remove a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor general who was not prosecuting enough corruption, that would increase the chances that corrupt companies in Ukraine would be investigated, isn't that right?,' Goldman, the Democratic counsel, asked her.
'One would think so,' she said.
'And that could include Burisma, right?,' he asked.
'Yes,' she replied.
In her first two hours in the chair, the focus was on the smear campaign against Yovanovitch, who slammed Giuliani for orchestrating it and said she found it difficult to understand President Donald Trump was influenced by 'foreign and private interests' in regards to her removal.
In her opening statement, Yovanovitch outlined her long diplomatic career, defended her work in the Ukraine, pushed back against allegations against her, and emphasized the importance of fighting corruption in the Ukraine.
She denied any politics were at work in her service in the Ukraine, which occurred while both President Barack Obama and President Trump were in office.
Yovanovitch addressed the Trump administration's concerns about the Bidens work in the Ukraine by saying she had never had any dealings on the matter. She noted she's never met Hunter Biden nor had contact with him. She also said while she has met former Vice President Joe Biden he never discussed Burisma – the Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden used to set on its board – with her.
Trump, Giuliani and others have pressed the Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden's work in the Ukraine and what role Joe Biden played in the matter when he was vice president. 
A transcript of a phone call between US President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is shown during the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence impeachment inquiry
A transcript of a phone call between US President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is shown during the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence impeachment inquiry
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, and ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., give opening remarks at the start of the hearing. Nunes, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, used his opening statement to berate Democrats for focusing on the impeachment inquiry and not on passing legislation
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, and ranking member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., give opening remarks at the start of the hearing. Nunes, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, used his opening statement to berate Democrats for focusing on the impeachment inquiry and not on passing legislation

'I have never met Hunter Biden, nor have I had any direct or indirect conversations with him. And although I have met former vice president Biden several times over the course of our many years in government service, neither he nor the previous administration ever raised the issue of either Burisma or Hunter Biden with me,' Yovanovitch said.
She said she met Giuliani three times and none of those interactions were related to the issues being discussed at Friday's hearing. And then she said she didn't understand why the former mayor pushed for her firing.
'I do not understand Mr. Giuliani's motives for attacking me, nor can I offer an opinion on whether he believed the allegations he spread about me. Clearly no one at the State Department did. What I can say is there Mr. Giuliani should have known these claims were suspect, coming as they reportedly did from individuals with questionable motives and with reason to believe that their political and financial ambitions would be stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine,' she said.
She pushed back on allegations against her, saying she never told Ukrainian officials to ignore President Trump because he may be impeached nor did she work against his campaign in the 2016 election.
'Also untrue are unsourced allegations that I told unidentified embassy employees or Ukrainian officials that President Trump's orders should be ignored because he was going to be impeached or for any other reason,' she said.
'I did not, and I would not say such a thing. Such statements would be inconsistent with my training as a foreign service officer and my role as an ambassador. The Obama administration did not ask me to help the Clinton campaign or harm the Trump campaign. Nor would I have taken any such steps if they had,' she said.
She also expressed her confusion President Trump listened and acted upon allegations against her.
'I have always understood that I served at the pleasure of the president, I still find it difficult to comprehend that foreign and private interests were able to undermine U.S. interests in this way,' she said.
'As various witnesses have recounted, they shared baseless allegations with the president and convinced him to remove his ambassador despite the fact the State Department fully understood the allegations were false and the sources highly suspect. These events should concern everyone in this room. Ambassadors are the symbol of the United States abroad. They are the personal representative of the president. They should always act and speak with full authority to advocate for U.S. policies,' she added.
'It was not surprising that when our anti-corruption efforts got in the way of a desire for profit or power, Ukrainians who preferred to play by the old corrupt rules sought to remove me. What continues to amaze me is that they found Americans willing to partner with them and working together, they apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a U.S. Ambassador. How could our system fail like this? How is it that foreign, corrupt interests could manipulate our government?,' she noted.
She closed with a warning, complaining about the lack of leadership at the State Department and the 'degradation' of the Foreign Service.
'At the closed deposition, I expressed grave concerns about the degradation of the foreign service over the past few years and the failure of State Department leadership to push back as foreign and corrupt interests apparently hijacked our Ukraine policy. I remain disappointed that the department's leadership and others have declined to acknowledge that the attacks against me and others are dangerously wrong. This is about far, far more than me or a couple of individuals. As foreign service professionals are being denigrated and undermined, the institution is also being degraded. This will soon cause real harm if it hasn't already,' she said.
Yovanovitch's testimony launched the second day of public hearings into the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.    
Shortly before she entered the committee room, the White House released the transcript of President Donald Trump's first call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – in April of this year - which showed no mention of the Bidens or the 2016 election.
In his opening statement, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff focused on Yovanovitch's professional accomplishments and painted her as a victim of scheming by Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney.
'Ambassador Yovanovitch has been in the foreign service for 33 years and served much of that time in the former Soviet Union. Her parents have fled Stalin and later Hitler before settling in the United States. She is an exemplary officer who was widely praised and respected by her colleagues. She is known as an anti-corruption champion whose tour in Kiev was viewed as very successful,' Schiff said.      
Yovanovitch held back tears as she testified Friday about how she felt 'threatened' by President Trump
Yovanovitch held back tears as she testified Friday about how she felt 'threatened' by President Trump 
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch arrived Friday to Capitol Hill in the second public impeachment hearing by the House Intelligence Committee
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch arrived Friday to Capitol Hill in the second public impeachment hearing by the House Intelligence Committee
Yovanovitch, 61, is one of the central figures in the Democrats investigation. Trump recalled her May of this year after what other diplomats called a coordinated smear campaign against her, which included articles in conservative friendly media and tweets from Republican allies
Yovanovitch, 61, is one of the central figures in the Democrats investigation. Trump recalled her May of this year after what other diplomats called a coordinated smear campaign against her, which included articles in conservative friendly media and tweets from Republican allies
Schiff called her removal 'a stunning turn of events for this highly regarded career diplomat who had done such a  remarkable job fighting corruption in Ukraine that a short time earlier she had been asked by the state department to extend her tour.'
He praised her stance on fighting corruption and argued it was her dedication to that fight that ending up 'pissing off' the wrong people in the Trump administration.
'Ambassador Yovanovitch was tough on corruption. Too tough on corruption for some and her principled stance made her enemies as George Kent told this committee on Wednesday, ''you can't promote principled anti-corruption action without pissing off corrupt people.'' And Ambassador Yovanovitch did not just piss off corrupt Ukrainians, like the corrupt former prosecutor general Yuri Lutsenko but certain Americans like Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump's personal attorney, and two individuals now indicted who worked with him, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas,' Schiff said, naming two Giuliani business associates who have been charged with campaign finance violations related to their work in the Ukraine.
Schiff berated President Trump for not defending Yovanovitch when Giuliani and his allies turned against her.
'That tells you a lot about the president's priorities and intentions,' he said.
'Some have argued that a president has the ability to nominate or remove any ambassador he wants. That they serve at the pleasure of the president. And that is true. The question before us is not whether Donald Trump could recall an American ambassador with a stellar reputation for fighting corruption in Ukraine, but why would he want to? Why did Rudy Giuliani want her gone? And why did Trump? And why would Donald Trump instruct the new team he put in place, the three amigos - Gordon Sondland, Rick Perry and Kurt Volker - to work with the same man, Rudy Giuliani, who played such a central role in the smear campaign against her,' Schiff noted.
Rep. Mark Meadows tweeted 'all you need to know' about Friday's hearing
Rep. Mark Meadows tweeted 'all you need to know' about Friday's hearing 
The chairman argued Trump wanted Yovanovitch gone to help him win the 2020 election by convincing the Ukrainians to launch an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden.
'Getting rid of Ambassador Yovanovitch helped set the stage for an irregular channel that could pursue the two investigations that mattered so much to the president. The 2016 conspiracy theory and, most important, an investigation into the 2020 political opponent he apparently feared most, Joe Biden. And the president's scheme might have worked but for the fact that the man who would succeed Ambassador Yovanovitch, whom we heard from on Wednesday, acting Ambassador Taylor, would eventually discover the effort to press Ukraine into conducting these investigations and would push back. But for the fact also that someone blew the whistle,' he said.
Devin Nunes used his opening statement to berate Democrats for focusing on the impeachment inquiry and not on passing legislation.
He also complained about the Democrats not letting Republicans call the whistleblower in for testimony. The whistleblower revealed Trump's July 25 call with Zelensky that started the formal impeachment inquiry.
'It's unfortunate that today and for most of next week we will continue engaging in the Democrats' day-long TV spectacles instead of solving the problems we were all sent to Washington to address,' Nunes said.
He capped off by reading the transcript of Trump's first call with Zelensky in April.
The transcript showed a conversation about Zelensky's upcoming inauguration, which Zelensky invited Trump to attend.
The president said he would look into and invited his Ukrainian counterpart to the White House.
'When you are settled in and ready, I would like to invite you to the White House. We'll have a lot of things to talk about' Trump told him on the call.
A demonstrator holds signs outside Longworth House Office Building, Friday ahead of Yovanovitch's testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in the second public impeachment hearing of Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponent
A demonstrator holds signs outside Longworth House Office Building, Friday ahead of Yovanovitch's testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in the second public impeachment hearing of Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponent
Schiff (L) gives opening statements flanked by (L-R) ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes(R-CA), Republican Counsel Stephen Castor, and Representative Jim Jordan
Schiff (L) gives opening statements flanked by (L-R) ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes(R-CA), Republican Counsel Stephen Castor, and Representative Jim Jordan
Pedestrians stroll by as demonstrator hold a sign outside Longworth House Office Building, where former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is testifying
Pedestrians stroll by as demonstrator hold a sign outside Longworth House Office Building, where former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is testifying
President Trump was watching Nunes read the transcript of the first call, according to the White House.
'The President will be watching Congressman Nunes' opening statement, but the rest of the day he will be working hard for the American people,' White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
Schiff praised Trump for releasing the transcript and asked for other material to be released – including documents from the State Department that are being with held at the administration's request.
'I'm grateful the president has released the call record,' he said.
'I would now ask the president to release the thousands of other records that he has instructed the State Department not to release, including Ambassador Taylor's notes, cable, including George Kent's memo, including documents from the office of management and budget about why the military aid was withheld,' he said.
While Wednesday's impeachment witnesses Bill Taylor and George Kent played to the head - the duo of long-time public servants talked at length about American foreign policy in Ukraine - Yovanovitch's testimony is expected to tug at the heart.
Democrats see her as yet another in their line of credible witnesses - a longtime government official who has worked under presidents of both parties.  
They paint her as the victim of the Trump administration - a career official who had her work derailed by the forces against her.
Republicans, however,  down play the actions against Yovanovitch, and argue the president has the right to fire whatever ambassador he wants.  
'Respectfully, this is all you need to know about Ambassador Yovanovitch's testimony. She admits she can't bring any firsthand knowledge to: - The 7/25 phone call - Discussions surrounding phone call - Discussions surrounding delay of aid And this is the Democrats second witness,' GOP Congressman Mark Meadows tweeted during her testimony. He is not on the committee but is one of Trump's staunchest allies on Capitol Hill. 
Other diplomats, in their testimony, praised Yovanovitch's professional work and called her the victim of a 'smear' campaign.  
In October, Yovanovitch sat down with lawmakers from the three committees tasked with impeachment proceedings and told the story of her dismissal.
She brought that closed door testimony public on Friday. 
Yovanovitch's tenure in Ukraine came to a dramatic end.
First on April 24 and then into the early hours of April 25, Director General of the Foreign Service Carol Perez made two calls to Yovanovitch. In the first she advised Yovanovitch to board the 'next plane home to Washington.' 
And hour later Perez called again. 
'There were concerns up the street and she said I needed to get - come home immediately. Get on the next plane to the U.S., and I asked her why, and she said she wasn't sure but there were concerns about my security. Asked her my first security because sometimes Washington knows more than we do about these things and she said, no, we hadn't gotten that impression that it was a physical security issue, but they were concerned about my security and I needed to come home right away,' Yovanovitch testified Friday.
'I did specifically ask whether this had to do with the Mayor Giuliani allegations against me and so forth and she shade she didn't know. It didn't even actually appear that she seemed to be aware of that. No reason was offered,' she added.
Photographers await the arrival of Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, to testify as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump
Photographers await the arrival of Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, to testify as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump
She was asked about her testimony behind closed doors, where she had said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had tried to protect her.
'Did you have any understanding why secretary Pompeo was no longer able to protect you?,' Goldman asked.
'No. It was just a statement made, that he was no longer able to protect me,' she said.  
She said she told Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, upon her return to the United States, that she was worried about how her removal would look to the Ukrainians.
'I asked him how are you going to explain this to people in the State Department, the press, the public, Ukrainians because everybody is watching, and so if people see somebody who -- and, of course, it had been very public, frankly, the attacks on me by Mayor Giuliani and others and Mr. Lutsenko in Ukraine. If people see I who have been, you know, promoting our policies on anti-corruption, if they can undermine me and get me pulled out of Ukraine, what does that mean for our policy? Do we still have that same policy? How are we going to affirmatively put that forward number one. Number two, when other countries, other actors and other countries see that private interests, foreign interests can come together and get a U.S. Ambassador removed, what's going to stop them from doing that in the future in other countries,' she said.
Yovanovitch was nominated by President Barack Obama to be Ambassador to Ukraine in May 2016 and unanimously confirmed by Senate in July 2016 by voice vote. 
She served in that post until she was recalled in May by the Trump Administration.

Ousted ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is given standing ovation after impeachment hearing during which Schiff called out Trump for 'witness intimidation' after he tweeted during her testimony: 'Everywhere Marie went turned bad' (28 Pics) Ousted ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is given standing ovation after impeachment hearing during which Schiff called out Trump for 'witness intimidation' after he tweeted during her testimony: 'Everywhere Marie went turned bad' (28 Pics) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 07:05 Rating: 5

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