Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled this past May, became teary-eyed as she recounted her sudden firing during a closed-door deposition last month, sources told Fox News.
This morning at 9 a.m. ET, the 60-year-old diplomat will take the stand again for Day Two of the public impeachment hearings against President Trump—and I anticipate that Republicans will hammer her with an aggressive cross-examination related to her previous statements under oath, as well as her reported role in shielding a George Soros-linked nonprofit allegedly connected to documented Ukrainian election interference efforts.
According to Fox News First here are the key arguments and the strategy for both sides:
Key point for Trump defense: Forced out of her job in April, Yovanovitch likely can’t offer much of substance on her own about the central allegations against Trump – that he pressured Zelensky to investigate the Bidens, and withheld U.S. military aid as leverage. (Democrats had previously referred to this as a “quid pro quo”; now they have reportedly retired that term in favor of the word “bribe.”) The timeline will render Yovanovitch vulnerable to the same criticisms that Republicans had for William Taylor and George Kent, the two diplomats who testified during Wednesday in Day One of the public impeachment proceedings: that all she can offer is unverifiable hearsay and speculation.
Democrats’ strategy: Democrats may likely focus on the circumstances of Yovanovitch’s removal from her post. She said in a statement to investigators that last spring she was abruptly told to depart Ukraine “on the next plane and that the president had lost confidence in her and had been pressuring State Department officials to remove her.
Which of the above arguments are stronger? Remove the politics and the bias, taking into account the power of the Executive branch, have the Democrats gotten themselves in too deep?