People For the American Way

PFAW: Trump Attempt to Intimidate Yovanovitch Is “Chilling”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 15, 2019

Contact: Laurie Kinney at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-2307

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Following today’s public impeachment hearings in the House Intelligence Committee, featuring testimony by ousted ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch,  People For the American Way Senior Fellow Elliot Mincberg released the following statement:

“Never in my 30 years of working on legislative issues in the House and elsewhere have I seen such a blatant attempt to intimidate a witness literally while she was in the middle of testifying.  It was one thing to watch Republican members try to dismiss and distract from Ambassador Yovanovitch’s account. It was another thing entirely for Trump to baselessly attack Yovanovitch by tweet during her appearance today, an attack that she described as ‘very intimidating’ to her and other witnesses. This attempt by a U.S. president to terrorize a witness is chilling and something that would have been unimaginable before Donald Trump.”

Mincberg notes that Ambassador Yovanovitch’s appearance today provided even more direct evidence of misconduct by President Trump than many expected. Yovanovitch convincingly testified about the smear campaign against her, Trump’s abrupt firing of her as ambassador, and other events that “set the stage,” as Chairman Adam Schiff put it, for President Trump’s abuse of power via his request that Ukraine intervene in our 2020 election, and his attempt to bribe them into doing so.

Elliot Mincberg has researched and analyzed the Supreme Court, the Department of Justice, religious liberty and other civil rights/civil liberties issues for more than three decades. He is also a former chief counsel for oversight and investigations of the House Judiciary Committee, where he gained extensive experience with impeachment proceedings.

About People For the American Way

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: