Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is sworn in to testify to the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, during the second public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Day two of the public impeachment inquiry is over. Or is it day three? I don’t know, they skipped yesterday.
Previously, we heard from George Kent and Bill Taylor, both aggrieved bureaucrats who did little to nothing to bolster the case for impeachment. You can read my full write-up on that hearing by clicking here. When you boiled it all down, the theme that kept emerging is that some career diplomats were upset that they didn’t get to set every aspect of the President’s foreign policy. They had no evidence of a quid pro quo, only providing third and fourth hand hearsay that originated from figures like Gordon Sondland, who also admitted he had no firsthand information of a quid pro quo either.
Would Marie Yovanovitch’s testimony be different? In a word, no.
In fact, much of the hearing left onlookers wondering why she was there at all. Yovanovitch not only had no firsthand knowledge of the Trump-Zelensky call, she wasn’t even the Ukrainian ambassador any longer by the time it happened. Previously, Adam Schiff had asserted that only witnesses able to speak to Trump’s possible quid pro quo would be admitted. Yet, here’s Yovanovitch being called as the third witness with absolutely nothing to offer.
Marie Yovanovitch testifies that she has no firsthand knowledge of the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky.
So, that's it? Can we go home now? pic.twitter.com/cb8bmd5chD
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 15, 2019
So what did we get? Instead of any substantive addition to the impeachment debate, we literally had a Congressional therapy session. Yovanovitch was continually fluffed by Democrats and asked how she “felt” about her removal.
Democratic Counsel during an impeachment hearing:
"How did that make you feel?" pic.twitter.com/byyOc48ChQ
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 15, 2019
One Representative even tried to ask her how it has affected her family, a question that wasn’t answered. Other Democrats spent their time ranting about how angry they are that she was recalled, trying to paint her as a victim of Donald Trump’s fury. In reality, Yovanvitch continues to get paid the same and now enjoys a cushy Georgetown appointment at her own request. This is not a woman who was mistreated and cast on the street.
I’m not joking when I say waxing poetic about Yovanovitch’s victimhood was about 90% of the Democrat questioning. There was simply nothing new added and she was happy to play matters up. At one point she even compared herself to the heroes of Benghazi, attempting to bolster her own credibility as a public servant. That was seen as highly inappropriate by many on the right and I can’t say I disagree.
In other exchanges with Republicans, Yovanovitch was finally forced to admit that Joe Biden’s conduct and his son’s appointment to Burisma did present a conflict of interest.
One other thing I did note was just how much Yovanovitch tied herself into knots throughout the day trying to not criticize the Obama administration. In order to go after Trump, she continually pushed the importance of military aid being provided to Ukraine. Yet, when she was asked about why Obama didn’t provide it, she was evasive and refused to speak ill of that decision. It was a bit of a window into her political leanings, which are clearly supportive of the Democratic party.
Watching Yovanovitch proclaim how important lethal aid is to Ukraine but doing everything she can not to criticize the Obama administration for not providing it quite the scene.
— Bonchie (@bonchieredstate) November 15, 2019
Former Ambassador Yovanovitch is so upset at her early recall that she can't even admit that @POTUS @realDonaldTrump's provision of Javelin missiles and other aid to Ukraine, which had been previously denied by the Obama administration, was a good thing.
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) November 15, 2019
In the end, this was a big dud for the Democrats. Yovanovitch may have tugged on Chris Wallace’s heartstrings, but in the end, she provided absolutely nothing relevant to impeachment. To most of the country, she likely came across as a spoiled government employee, whining that she didn’t get to keep her preferred appointment. The witness and Adam Schiff both admitted under oath that the President had the absolute right to recall her. Much of what transpired today was utterly pointless. What wasn’t mainly played into the hands of the Republicans as they were able to further establish that corruption investigations in Ukraine were legitimate requests, including into Burisma.
Next week, we’ll see Gordon Sondland testify and that’ll be the first witness that may actually have something to add. My suspicion is he won’t give Schiff what he wants, though.
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