Last week’s star impeachment witness was former President Barack Obama’s U.S. hold-over Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. She was appointed at a time of alleged intrigue and possible collusion between the Democrat National Committee, the Obama administration and one Artem Sytnyk, Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to undermine the Presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
As noted in the DailyWire, Politico broke a story in January 2017: “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire.”
Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.
A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.
We don’t know if Yovanovitch interacted with Sytnyk and the alleged anti-Trump electoral interference, but we do know she was an Obama appointee and no friend of President Trump.
According to former federal prosecutor Joe diGenova: “The current United States ambassador Marie Yovanovitch has bad mouthed the President of the United States to Ukrainian officials and has told them not to listen or worry about Trump policy because he’s going to be impeached.”
Based on the above, you might guess President Trump is not a fan of Yovanovitch and you’d be right. The President tweeted about Yovanovitch as she testified before Democrat Adam Schiff’s impeachment committee. Schiff stopped the hearing, read the tweet to Yovanovitch and helpfully suggested the tweet, which she only knew about because Schiff read it to her, was “Designed to intimidate, is it not?”
Sure, unfair, leading, delusional ... par for the course, right?
Not anymore. Fox News’ Bret Baier, who claims to be a hard news guy, parroted the Democrat talking point to his audience, i.e. us. “That enabled Schiff to then characterize that tweet as intimidating the witness or tampering with the witness, which is a crime. Adding essentially an article of impeachment real time as this hearing is going on. That changed this entire dynamic of this first part of this hearing and Republicans now are going to have to take the rest of this hearing to probably try to clean that up.”
This is the President’s exact tweet:
“Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.”
There is no way to interpret those words as a threat or attempt to influence. None, its impossible. As soon as someone tried, a real journalist would tell their listeners that was preposterous. For Baier to suggest there is is just ... dishonest? Or maybe part of a mass delusion ... who knows?
It’s becoming a pattern. Last column we quoted CNN’s Dana Bash:
“Let’s just start with the basics. The President of the United States asked a foreign power to investigate a top political rival. We read it in the summary of the July 25th call. We also heard him do it in public. Was that appropriate?”
When Trump advisor Kelly Ann Conway ask Bash to circle that part of the phone call transcript, Bash couldn’t do it because what she said never happened.
Rules is astonished. Powerful people simply ignore the plain meaning of the written words right in front of their face and say whatever they want.
We’ve never seen anything like it. The only thing missing is the psychiatrist ... or maybe a lie detector.
[This is a column of opinion and satire. The author knows of no undisclosed facts. Contact Lewis, the author of “The Diaries of Pontius Pilate,” “Separation of Church and State,” “Baghdad Burning” and “Hell Rises,” at www.josephmaxlewis.com.]