Modal close

Hi there,

You trust Democracy Now! to bring you the news stories and global headlines you won't find anywhere else. But did you know that Democracy Now! never accepts money from advertisers, corporate underwriters or governments? This allows us to maintain the editorial independence you rely on—but it also means we need your help. Right now a generous supporter will DOUBLE every donation to Democracy Now!, meaning your gift can go twice as far. Please do your part. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else. Thank you so much!
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Former Ambassador Yovanovitch Testifies in Impeachment Hearings

HeadlineNov 18, 2019

On Capitol Hill, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified Friday as part of the televised impeachment hearings into whether President Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine in order to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate President Trump’s political rival Joe Biden and his son. Yovanovitch was abruptly recalled from her post in May as part of a smear campaign to discredit her led by President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani. This is a clip of Yovanovitch’s opening statement.

Marie Yovanovitch: “Perhaps 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 can manipulate our government? Which countries’ interests are served when the very corrupt behavior we have been criticizing is allowed to prevail?”

Yovanovitch has repeatedly said she felt threatened by Trump, who called her “bad news” in his now-infamous July 25 call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. During this call, Trump also said of Yovanovitch, “She’s going to go through some things.” On Friday, Yovanovitch testified that she felt “shocked, appalled and devastated” when she learned what Trump had said about her in the phone call. While Yovanovitch was testifying, Trump again attacked her, writing on Twitter, “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.” House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff asked Yovanovitch about Trump’s latest attacks on her during her testimony Friday.

Rep. Adam Schiff: “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?”

Marie Yovanovitch: “Well, it’s very intimidating.”

Later on Friday, State Department official David Holmes confirmed in a closed-door testimony to House impeachment investigators that he overheard Trump asking U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland about political investigations that Trump was seeking from the president of Ukraine. This confirms a key part of Ambassador William Taylor’s testimony last week in which he revealed details about the previously unknown phone call.

Also on Friday, the House Intelligence Committee released the testimony of Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence and a member of his National Security Council staff. In her testimony, she called the July 25 phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president “unusual and inappropriate.” In response, President Trump attacked her on Saturday on Twitter, accusing her of being a “Never Trumper.”

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop