Marie Yavonavitch laid it out there. Donald Trump was entitled to replace her as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, she said, but she wonders why he felt the need to smear her before terminating her service.
Then the president entered the fray with a Twitter message that would “intimidate” future witnesses. He said something weird about Yavonavitch being responsible for — get this! — the turmoil in Somalia, in addition to Ukraine. He said this while the former envoy was testifying before the House Intelligence Committee.
Oh … my … goodness! The evidence keeps piling up.
But then again, is any of this going to move the Republican resistance in Congress to standing for the truth instead of standing behind the president? I am not anticipating such an event.
My strong fear is that the congressional Republican caucus is going to stand firm. They’re going to continue to disparage and denigrate the accusers who say that Trump effectively offered a bribe to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which the Constitution declares to be a crime worthy of removal from office. What did the president say to Zelenskiy? He needed a “favor, though” in exchange for shipping weapons to Ukraine, which is fighting Russia-backed rebels; the “favor” was dirt on Joe Biden, a political rival.
That’s a crime, man! So, will Republicans interpret it that way? No, they’re continuing to sound as though they’re going to blow off Trump’s conduct as “inappropriate” but “not impeachable.”
I believe the president has committed at least two acts worthy of removal. He has sought a “favor, though” from a foreign government to help him win re-election. He piled on today with that Twitter message that can be construed correctly as an effort to intimidate a congressional committee witness.
Donald Trump sought to smear a career public servant who has earned multiple honors for the work she has done on behalf of the United States overseas.
I’ll say it once more — and likely not for the final time: Donald Trump is an absolute disgrace. His Republican allies are in danger of shaming themselves while they stand with him.