Marie Yavonavitch

Sinking Like A Stone


Yesterday was historic. We got to witness a public hearing in only the third impeachment inquiry in our nation’s history. We got to watch a president intimidate a witness while she was testifying. We may have seen a new article of impeachment created in real-time. And finally, a federal court found Trump confidant and partner-in-crime Roger Stone guilty on seven counts of witness tampering and lying to Congress.

Donald Trump and his goon, Rudy Giuliani, coordinated a smear campaign against Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch before she was ousted from that position. He ever praised a Ukraine prosecutor who was considered corrupt by our nation, Europe, and even Ukraine. Yesterday, his smear campaign against Yovanovitch continued.

Donald Trump has a history of bullying women and intimidating witnesses. He’s tweeted attacks in the past against his former lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen (after he turned on him), former White House counsel Don McGhan (who witnessed several episodes of obstruction by Trump), and former FBI director James Comey who testified that Trump pushed him to drop an investigation over another partner-in-crime, Michael Flynn.

Trump said he would only watch ranking member Devin Nunes’ opening statement during yesterday’s hearing, which was kind of pointless. Nunes attempted to break committee rules by yielding his opening time to another committee member (when he’s only allowed to give that time to the Republican committee counsel). As usual, Trump was lying because he unleashed a barrage of attacks against Yovanovitch WHILE she was testifying.

He tweeted, “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go?” Yovanovitch was a low-level diplomatic officer stationed in Somalia early in her career. Chairman of the Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff (another of Trump’s favorite victims) stopped the proceedings to address Trump’s Twitter tantrum.

He asked Yovanovitch what effect Trump’s attacks on her would have “on other witnesses’ willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing.” She said, “It’s very intimidating. I can’t speak to what the president is trying to do, but the effect is to be intimidating.” In released summaries of Trump’s phone calls with the president of Ukraine, Trump said “some things will happen” to Yovanovitch.

If you think this isn’t witness tampering or intimidation, keep in mind that last year a Trump supporter mailed several pipe bombs to politicians, former government officials, and members of the media who have criticized Donald Trump. Hell, last week, someone took a knife to a Trump baby balloon. Yes, it’s witness tampering.

As if the gods agreed and wanted to make a statement, a verdict in Roger Stone’s trial was delivered in New York before the hearings in Washington were completed for the day.

A jury found Stone guilty on seven counts, including obstruction, lying to Congress, and witness tampering. He once called a potential witness and threatened to kill their dog. Roger Stone joins other Trump confidants who have been convicted or pled guilty, including Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, and “coffee boy” George Papadopoulos.

Stone can receive up to 50 years. He won’t get that much and Trump will eventually pardon him. Will Trump do the smart thing and pardon him after the 2020 election (along with Manafort) or will he attempt to fire up his base and do it sooner? His supporters do love horrible people. That’s why they’re deplorable.

Stone is going to prison for doing the same things Trump is doing today. Trump’s supporters argue he’s only expressing his opinion. But if they can say he didn’t pressure Ukraine because that nation’s president says he felt no pressure, then they need to accept that Trump is intimidating because Yovanovitch has said she feels intimidated. Logic, Republicans. Use it.

Roger Stone deserves what he’s getting. He belongs in prison. He also deserves to have his buddy there with him.

What’s more shocking here? That a guy with a Nixon tattoo on his back is going to prison for obstruction, lying, and witness tampering…or a Trump supporter is going to prison?

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