Yovanovitch testifies in second public Trump impeachment hearing

Impeachment hearing: Yovanovitch testifies; live updates, live stream

The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is testifying Friday in the second public hearing in the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump.

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Marie Yovanovitch will appear before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to answers questions about her time as ambassador in Ukraine and how she believed she was driven out of that position by Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer.

The hearing, which begins at 9 a.m. ET, will be broadcast live on CSPAN, CNN, Fox News and other cable news channels. Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, (D-California), and the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, (R-California), will question Yovanovitch in 45-minute segments each then committee members will have five minutes each to question Yovanovitch.

Watch the live stream of Friday’s hearing here

Live updates

Applause breaks out as the hearing ends

3:22 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Applause breaks out as Schiff takes a final shot at the Republicans and quickly gavels the day's events to a close. Republicans protested, but Schiff ignored them.

Holmes arrives for deposition

3:15 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: David Holmes, who was a staffer at the US embassy in Kyiv, is now on Capitol Hill for a closed-door interview with the House Intelligence Committee.

Trump: ‘I have the right to speak’

3 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Trump says there was nothing wrong with the tweet he sent out earlier because “You know what? I have the right to speak. I have freedom of speech just as other people do, but they’ve taken away the Republicans' rights,” the President said from the White House. "It’s really sad when you see people not allowed to ask questions." He went on to say that he did not think the tweet he sent out about Yovanovitch earlier was intimidating. “I don’t think so at all,” Trump said.

Can you see the president’s view?

2:54 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Jordan asks Yovanovitch if she talked to anyone in Ukraine about a Ukrainian official slamming Trump. She said she did not. Can you see why the president was concerned about people in Ukraine slamming him, why he would be concerned about corruption, or sending money to Ukraine, Jordan said. Yovanovitch says she doesn’t think what was said by officials constituted the Ukrainian policy toward the U.S.

They are back

2:49 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: The hearing has resumed and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is questioning Yovanovitch.

A short recess

2:40 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Schiff has called for a short recess.

Did you know why you were recalled?

2:15 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Yovanovitch says she got no support from Trump or Pompeo, in this exchange with Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas:

Castro: So I want to ask you, did the president ever tell you why he was recalling you? 
Yovanovitch: No. 
Castro: Did anybody at the White House ever tell you why you were being recalled? 
Yovanovitch: No. 
Castro: Did the President ever consult you about who the good guys and the bad guys were in the Ukraine? 
Yovanovitch: No. 
Castro: Did Secretary Pompeo ever tell you why you were being recalled? 
Yovanovitch: No. 

‘Like a Hallmark movie’

2 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Illinois, mockingly suggests the end of Yovanovitch’s post in Ukraine has turned out “like a Hallmark movie” because she now has a teaching at Georgetown University.

“It’s like a Hallmark movie! You ended up at Georgetown!” Quigley said, prompting laughter.

Going on, Quigley said, “It not the end of a Hallmark movie,” Quigley said. “It’s the end of a really bad reality-TV show ... brought to you by someone who knows a lot about that.”

White House denies Trump's tweet was witness intimidation

1:50 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: The White House issued a statement saying that Trump’s tweet Friday did not smear the reputation of Yovanovitch. “The tweet was not witness intimidation, it was simply the President’s opinion, which he is entitled to,” said White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham. “There is less due process in this hearing than any such event in the history of our country. It’s a true disgrace.”

'Not on my time, you're done'

1:32 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, questioned Yovanovitch about what EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s duties and if it included Ukraine. Yovanovitch began to answer but was cut off by Turner. Schiff tried to stop Turner from going on when Turner pointed to Yovanovitch and said, “Not on my time, you’re done.” Schiff allowed Yovanovitch to answer the question, and she said, “It is unusual to name the US Ambassador to the EU to be responsible for all aspects of Ukraine.”

Never Trumper?

1:22 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Is she a “Never Trumper” Rep. Sewell asks? No, Yovanovitch answers.

Social media can be mean?

1 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: GOP counsel Castor argues that a Ukrainian official was “out to get” Trump via tweets as Trump was running for president and that the official said some “mean things.” "Sometimes that happens on social media,” Yovanovitch said, eliciting laughter from the room.

‘Ukrainian establishment’ wanted her out

12:42 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Under questioning by Castor, Yovanovitch said the "Ukrainian establishment” had hoped her removal as ambassador would pave the way for them to do things that would be against US interests.

"I think that, in addition, there were Americans, these two individuals who were working with mayor Giuliani, Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, who have recently been indicted by the Southern District of New York, who indicated that they wanted to change out the ambassador, and I think they must have had some reason for that."

Republicans begin asking questions

12:32 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Nunes asks Yovanovitch if she was present for the July 26 call between Trump and Zelensky, she answers no. He asks if she was present or had talked to other White House officials concerning Ukraine. She says she had not.

Nunes then recognizes Rep. Elise Stefanik to ask questions. Stefanik attempts to ask a question but Schiff cuts her off, saying she has not been recognized. Nunes and Schiff argue about who can yield time to a committee member. Schiff says she cannot ask questions at this time and Nunes then yields to Steve Castor, the counsel for the Republicans.

The hearing has resumed

12:22 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: The hearing has resumed and Republicans are asking questions.

In a break

10:45 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: The hearing has been suspended for a short recess for House members to vote. 

Trump tweets, Yovanovitch defends herself 

10:30 a.m. Nov. 15, 2019: Schiff read a tweet from Trump this morning disparaging Yovanovitch’s service. Trump said that “everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.” Schiff asks if she wants to address the tweet. Yovanovitch answered, “I don’t think I have such powers,” but went on to say that her work “demonstrably made things better, both for the US and for the countries I’ve served in.”

Fearing a tweet

10:24 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Goldman asks Yovanovitch if she was given a vote of support from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. She said she was not. He asked if she knew why not. She said the department feared that the president would post a tweet contradicting any support.

‘Devastated' by Trump's Ukraine call

10:15 a.m. Nov. 15, 2019: Yovanovitch said she was “shocked” and “devastated” by the White House memo on Trump’s call with Zelensky. The transcript included the phrase that Yovanovitch is “bad news.”

“A person who saw me actually reading the transcript said the color drained from my face,” Yovanovitch told Daniel Goldman, a former federal prosecutor with the Southern District of New York who is the counsel for the Democrats. She said Trump’s comment that she was “going to go through some things,” in his call with Zelensky, “felt like a vague threat.”

‘Big hit for morale’

10 a.m. Nov. 15, 2019: Schiff asked Yovanovitch how her recall was received by colleagues in the State Department. Yovanovitch said, "Well, it's been a big hit for morale, both at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv and also more broadly in the State Department." She also that it’s fair to say that her firing affected morale of other ambassadors.

Yovanovitch's opening statement

9:33 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Yovanovitch is giving her opening statement, talking about the sometime dangers of foreign service.

She opened her statement by recounting her family’s history. They fled the Soviet Union. She says she has served in several “hardship” posts as a diplomat. 

She talked about her work in Ukraine. "Not all Ukrainians embraced our anti-corruption work. Thus, perhaps, it was not surprising, that when our anti-corruption efforts got in the way of a desire for profit or power, Ukrainians who preferred to play by the old, corrupt rules sought to remove me. What continues to amaze me is that they found Americans willing to partner with them and, working together, they apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a U.S. Ambassador. How could our system fail like this? How is it that foreign corrupt interests could manipulate our government?"

She says she never tried to work against Trump or for Clinton. She said she has never met Hunter Biden but did know former Vice President Joe Biden.

Nunes’ turn

9:20 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Rep. Nunes is speaking now. He says five of the members of the Intelligence Committee voted to impeach Trump before he ever made the July 26 phone call. He complains that the Democrats met secretly with the whistleblower and that Republicans have been threatened if they try to find out the person’s name and release it. He also said Democrats went after nude photos of Trump. He is reading the just-released transcript into the record.

The hearing has begun

9:10 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Schiff is giving his opening statement. He is praising Yovanovitch’s qualifications and her anti-corruption work in Ukraine. He's asking why Trump wanted to recall Yovanovitch from her post.

Phone call transcript released

9:05 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: The White House has released the transcript of the first phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That phone call took place in April. This is not the phone call the whistleblower reported on.

People are getting to their seats

9 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: House Intelligence Committee members, the press and spectators are coming into the room for the start of the hearing.

 

$3 million in donations

8:55 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale announced on Thursday that the Trump campaign raised more than $3 million on Wednesday during the first public impeachment hearings.

A case of bribery?

8:47 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, accused Trump of bribery. Pelosi pointed out at her weekly press conference that bribery is “in the Constitution” as a reason for impeaching a president.

Yovanovitch has arrived

8:38 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Yovanovitch has arrived at Capitol Hill with her attorneys and is entering the building.

One public hearing and two in private8:35 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: While Yovanovitch will testify in public Friday, David Holmes will appear before the committee afterward in a closed-door session. Holmes is a State Department employee who claims to have overheard a phone conversation about Ukraine between Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, and Trump. On Saturday, Mark Sandy, an office of Management and Budget official, will testify before the committee in private. Sandy will be the first OMB official to agree to testify before the committee.

How the hearing will go

8:15 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: The hearing will be conducted in the same way as Wednesday’s hearing with William Taylor and George Kent was conducted. Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-California, and the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, R-California, will question Taylor and Kent in 45-minute segments each. Those 45 minutes can be delegated to the staff lawyers or other committee members. After the extended 45-minute periods, the committee will go back to its usual format of five-minute rounds of questions for committee members.

Let’s get started

8 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Good morning and welcome to live updates from the second public hearing of the impeachment inquiry. The hearing begins in an hour, at 9 a.m. ET.

Live updates coming

6 a.m. ET Nov. 15, 2019: Live updates of Marie Yovanovitch's testimony will begin at 8 a.m. ET. The hearing begins at 9 a.m. ET

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