House Intelligence Committee holds day 2 of impeachment inquiry hearings

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi D-Calif. talks to reporters on the morning after the first public hearing in the impeachment probe of President Donald Trump on his effort to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents on Cap

"It's very intimidating", she said.

"Witness intimidation is a crime, no matter who does it".

Marie Yovanovitch, the former USA ambassador to Ukraine, testified that she had no firsthand knowledge of the July 25 phone call between Trump Ukrainian President Zelensky as well as no direct knowledge about any withholding of military aid-the center points of the Democrat-run impeachment inquiry.

She told lawmakers that she was the victim of "a campaign of disinformation" that used "unofficial back channels" leading to her removal from Ukraine. He referred her as "bad news" during his July 25th phone call with the Ukraine leader, according to a rough transcript of the conversation released by the White House.

Her removal is one of several events at the center of the impeachment effort.

"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".

Former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee at 9 a.m. She was forced out in May 2019.

Even as she spoke, back at the White House, where aides said Trump did not plan to watch the proceedings, Trump was tweeting.

And when Zelensky invites Trump to his inauguration, Trump says he'll dispatch someone at "a very, very high level".

Trump says he has the "absolute right" to appoint ambassadors.

Nunes complained that Democrats are relying on hearsay testimony from witnesses who only know of Trump's actions second-hand.

The career foreign service officer has been portrayed by Democrats as the first victim of President Trump's scheme in Ukraine, and her testimony gets to their narrative that Trump abused his power in a way that damaged USA interests. "I think. Even now, words kind of fail me".

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Yovanovitch made the comments during the second public impeachment hearing held by the House Intelligence Committee.

Nunes read that transcript aloud.

Ahead of Yovanovitch's testimony, Trump ally Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) dismissed it as a sideshow, saying she was recalled to Washington in May, months ahead of the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky.

Yovanovitch said Sondland's advice was to "go big or go home", which he explained meant lauding Trump.

Yovanovitch told lawmakers that she was told Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and the State Department would not defend her because "it could be undermined, that the president might issue a tweet contradicting it".

In the phone conversation, Trump asked for a "favor", according to an account provided by the White House. "We'll have a lot of things to talk about, but we're with you all the way", Trump said on April 21 to Zelensky, after offering congratulations for his recent election. Several streaming services, including Fubo TV, will also have the live stream.

Seated behind Ms. Yovanovitch, in a demonstration of support as she testified, was Grace Kennan Warnecke, the daughter of George Kennan, one of the most revered American diplomats of the last century and the architect of the containment policy that governed America's strategy through the Cold War.

Friday is the second day of public hearings to consider removing America's 45th president.

Americans are deeply entrenched in two camps over impeachment, resulting in a mounting political battle that will further test the nation in one of the most polarizing eras of modern times.

Referencing how Trump has repeatedly said his call with Zelensky was ideal, Pelosi said: "It's perfectly wrong". "When you're settled in and ready, I'd like to invite you to the White House", Trump said.

When asked whether she would have approved withholding military aid for three months, she again answered "no" - and when asked if she would've been OK with Trump asking a foreign government to investigate a political rival, her answer once again was "no".

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