Ousted U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch on Friday received a rare standing ovation at the conclusion of her nearly five hours of public testimony in the second public hearing of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
The audience stood and cheered for the former ambassador as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff gaveled the meeting to a close.
Citizens who sit in on congressional hearings are typically instructed to remain silent and respect decorum by abstaining from any audible outbursts.
The applause could be heard clearly in live video from the hearing room.
The crowd in the public seating — as well as some Democrats — stood up and clapped and cheered for ambassador Yovanovitch after Schiff announced the end of the 2nd public hearing. pic.twitter.com/VtbqlOOls5
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) November 15, 2019
— Miriam Elder (@MiriamElder) November 15, 2019
Yovanovitch was personally attacked by the president in a series of controversial tweets on Friday morning.
As she testified about her ouster in May at Trump’s direction, the president tweeted: “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.”
“It is a US President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors”, he added.
Yovanovitch was then asked in real-time about the president’s tweets. She told Schiff such attacks from the president were “intimidating” and that she did not understand why he would falsely smear her reputation.
Applause from audience as Marie Yovanovitch departs #ImpeachmentHearing.
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 15, 2019
Democrats on the committee and elsewhere in the House characterized Trump’s tweet as witness intimidation and suggested that it could be considered when mulling articles of impeachment later in the process.
According to the Department of Justice, intimidation of witnesses testifying before Congress is a crime under 18 U.S.C. § 1515(a)(1).
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