Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is sworn in to testify to the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, during the second public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
A lot has been said about the Marie Yovanovitch impeachment testimony today despite the fact that it provided nothing of value at all toward impeachment.
I wrote a piece earlier this evening giving my overall impressions earlier of what transpired (see Marie Yovanonvitch’s Impeachment Testimony Is Over, Here’s What We Learned). In it, I lay out exactly just how useless the hearing was, how Yovanovitch knew essentially nothing, and how it devolved into a sad therapy session led by Democrats.
In fact, much of the hearing left onlookers wondering why she was there at all. Yovanovitch not only had no first hand knowledge of the Trump-Zelensky call, she wasn’t even the Ukrainian ambassador any longer by the time it happened. Previously, Adam Schiff had asserted that only witnesses able to speak to Trump’s possible quid pro quo would be admitted. Yet, here’s Yovanovitch being called as the third witness with absolutely nothing to offer.
Of course, that doesn’t mean there weren’t some interesting things to note. Yovanovitch admitted that Trump did far more for Ukraine than Obama did (though she strained to not criticize the former President). At another point, she was faced with questions about Joe Biden and conflicts of interest with Burisma. She answered that it was indeed concerning. It was also well established that her removal from her post was absolutely not illegal or improper, even if she felt she was entitled to her ambassadorship for life.
But another thing caught my eye and the eye of several other conservatives following things live – It really, really looks like Yovanovitch committed perjury today.
Yovanovitch first claimed the "previous administration" never "raised the issue of either Burisma or Hunter Biden with me."
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) November 15, 2019
I remember seeing this live and thinking “huh?”
Early on in her testimony, she stated under oath that the issue of Hunter Biden and Burisma was never brought up to her by the previous administration. Later, though, Rep. Stefanik finally got to ask some questions and that’s where things went off the rails. Under intense questioning, including reading of her prior closed-door testimony, Yovanovitch was forced to admit that the previous administration had indeed brought up the Biden/Burisma issue to her.
And lest someone argue it may have been a forgettable affair, it wasn’t just in passing. The Obama officials prepping her were apparently so concerned about the issue being raised that it was part of her mock Q and A to get ready for her nomination hearing. These are issues she studied up on and she clearly was aware that the previous administration had briefed her on the matter. Yet, we see her pretty clearly lie about it early on in today’s hearing, only admitting it after being pressed with her prior testimony.
That sure sounds like perjury to me.
Now, I’m sure she and her defenders will say she simply forgot or got confused, but that certainly hasn’t been a valid excuse for any number of Trump officials charged for lying. In fact, Roger Stone was just convicted today for lying to Congress, among other things.
My guess is she can rest easy, though. The statutes dealing with lying to government bodies don’t seem to apply to Democrats.
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