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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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We already know that Donald Trump’s Republican allies are relying on, alternately, shifting excuses and whackadoodle conspiracy theories which only make sense to the most dedicated viewers of Fox News.
So they already had their work cut out for them Friday morning, as former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch took center stage as sole witness for the second public impeachment inquiry hearing held by the House Intelligence Committee.
Republicans were going to have a hard enough time defending Trump in the face of damning testimony from this poised and respected Foreign Service officer.
Then Trump made the Republicans’ job that much worse by attacking Yovanovitch by tweet in real time, in the midst of her congressional testimony.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif), chairman of the House intelligence panel and leader of the impeachment inquiry, immediately denounced the tweet as “witness intimidation.”
Even former independent counsel Ken Starr, a frequent Trump defender, said the president “was not advised by counsel in deciding to do this tweet. Extraordinarily poor judgment.”
Just as Trump keeps digging his hole, at least some Senate Republicans, preparing for their role in a post-impeachment trial, are floating the idea of a long trial so as to disrupt the Democratic senators running for president.
These Republicans seeking a long trial may realize they’re just too cute as a long trial offers Trump only more time to tweet himself into trouble–and potentially dig a hole Republicans can’t pull him from. In the face of all these damning tweets, even a Republican Senate may ultimately have no choice but to vote to remove him from office.
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