On the second day of impeachment hearings, former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanitch testified before the House Intelligence Committee.
Yovanovitch was removed from her post in May by what she described as a “smear campaign” by the Trump Administration and the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yurij Lutsenko. Yovanovitch had clashed with Lutsenko over alleged corruption in his department, say Ukrainian officials.
Yovanovitch previously testified to Democrats behind closed doors last month that she was warned to “watch her back,” before being ousted as ambassador. She said that she was the victim of a “campaign of disinformation” by Trump’s allies working through “unofficial back channels.” She attributes her loss of position to her anti-corruption stance. Without sustaining any criticism from the State Department itself, Yovanovitch was removed from office in May.
Republican House members largerly wrote off the relevance of Yovanovitch’s testimony. California Representative Devin Nunes said she “is not a material fact witness.” But House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff asserted that by removing Yovanovitch, Trump and his allies had “set the stage for an irregular channel” of foreign policy communication with Ukraine led by Rudy Giuliani to pressure Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden and the Democratic Party.
Today on AirTalk, we break down Yovanavitch’s testimony.
With files from the Associated Press
Amanda Renteria, chair of Emerge America, a national organization that works to identify and train Democratic women who want to run for political office; she is the former national political director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and was a staffer for Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); she tweets @AmandaRenteria
Sean T. Walsh, Republican political analyst and partner at Wilson Walsh Consulting in San Francisco; he is a former adviser to California Governors Pete Wilson and Arnold Schwarzenegger and a former White House staffer for Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush
Alan Dershowitz, professor emeritus of law at Harvard University and author of "Trumped Up: How Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy" (2017)
William C. Banks, professor emeritus of law at Syracuse University, he’s the co-author of “Constitutional Law: Structure and Rights in Our Federal System,” (Carolina Academic Press, 2018)
Barbara McQuade, professor of law at the University of Michigan; she served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan from 2010-2017
David Rivkin, partner at the law firm BakerHostetler; he has previously held positions at the Department of Justice, in the Office of White House Counsel and elsewhere in the federal government; he tweets @DavidRivkin