The second day of public hearings in the House Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Trump concluded on Friday, with Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, describing her shock at the embrace by top U.S. officials of a smear campaign that ultimately led to her ouster. During her testimony, Trump attacked Yovanovitch in a tweet. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff read the missive to the former ambassador, and later accused Trump of “witness intimidation in real time.” The White House dismissed the assertion, saying it was “simply the president’s opinion.”
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Former U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch leaves after her testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Friday. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images)
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Friday. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Maria Yovanovitch exited the room to applause while Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, objected to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's closing statement.
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies on Capitol Hill Friday. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP)
Rep. Devin Nunes used time allotted for a closing statement to again rip the impeachment inquiry as a "show trial" and suggested television ratings for the public hearings are "plummeting." More than 13 million people watched on Wednesday.
"This is an embarrassment," Nunes added.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff thanked Yovanovitch for her decades of service and appearance before the panel amid attacks by President Trump and others.
"What you did in coming forward under lawful subpoena was to give courage to others," Schiff said. "That they can endure whatever threats and insults come their way."
Drinks are seen in front of former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch's seat during her testimony on Capitol Hill on Friday. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)
President Trump speaks during an event on healthcare prices at the White House in Washington, D.C., Friday. (Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)
Over at the White House, President Trump defended his tweet attacking Yovanovitch.
“I have the right to speak,” Trump told reporters during a previously scheduled event.
The president, who said he didn’t watch any of the Wednesday’s hearings, said, “I watched a little bit of it today.”
Asked if he thinks he’s going to be impeached, Trump replied: “Well, I shouldn’t be.”