Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed Donald Trump for tweeting attacks on a key witness in his impeachment as the official testified before House investigators, saying the president "is clearly not satisfied with only one article of impeachment".
The New York Democrat denounced Mr Trump’s tweet after the president claimed that everywhere ousted Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch went “turned bad,” adding it was his “absolute right to appoint ambassadors”.
In a tweet of her own, the congresswoman said of Mr Trump: “His choice to publicly broadcast his own, personally authored witness intimidation means [he] wants to sign up for another article on obstruction of justice, too.”
Ms Yovanovitch delivered a damning public testimony about the president’s dealings with Ukraine, describing a “crisis in the State Department” under Mr Trump and saying she faced “a campaign of disinformation” led in part by his former personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
The president unleashed on his former Ukraine ambassador, saying in a follow up tweet that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “spoke unfavourably about her in my second phone call with him” and suggesting he had “done FAR more for Ukraine” than former President Barack Obama.
His attacks on Ms Yovanovitch became the subject of widespread disapproval from both Democrats and Republicans, who — in a rare departure — denounced Mr Trump’s remarks as an essential form of witness tampering.
Fox News host Bret Baier also said on live television that Mr Trump’s tweets were “adding essentially an article of impeachment” in real-time.
Trump himself is clearly not satisfied with only one article of impeachment.
His choice to publicly broadcast his own, personally authored witness intimidation means he’s wants to sign up for another article on obstruction of justice, too. https://t.co/wYvH92CMHb— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC)November 15, 2019
Ken Starr, who spearheaded an investigation against former President Bill Clinton, also went on the conservative news outlet and said the president had exercised “extraordinarily poor judgement”.
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff addressed the attacks against Ms Yovanovitch during the hearings, asking what she thought of the president’s statement.
“Very intimidating”, she responded.
Ms Yovanovitch was removed from her post in Ukraine in a move that had a “chilling effect” on the State Department, the former official described.
She said the past few months have been “a very painful period” in her life, adding: “There’s a question as to why the kind of campaign to get me out of Ukraine happened.”
“In my line of work … all we have is our reputation”, she said.