Bret Baier suggests Trump’s Yovanovitch tweet was an impeachable offense ‘in real-time’

November 16, 2019

One Fox News host just shocked his conservative viewers by appearing to pick up the Democrat narrative about President Donald Trump.

According to anchor Bret Baier, one of Trump’s tweets during the impeachment hearing Friday may have added “an article of impeachment in real-time as this hearing is going on.” 

Trump’s take

The House Intelligence Committee’s official impeachment inquiry got underway with public hearings this week, and on Friday we got to hear the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch, former ambassador to Ukraine. At the same time, President Trump decided to let the public know a little something about her.

“Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” Trump tweeted. “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.”

“… They call it ‘serving at the pleasure of the President,'” Trump continued. “The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding administrations. It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O.”

Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the Democrats’ eyes must have lit up when they saw these tweets because the next thing they did was to read them to Yovanovitch. Her response: that she finds them “very intimidating.”

Intimidating the witness?

According to Fox’s Bret Baier, what really happened here was that President Trump gave Democrats an on-the-spot article of impeachment.

“That [the tweets] 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 in real-time as this hearing is going on,” Baier noted.

But, Baier did not stop there. He went on to say that Trump’s tweets will now change the entire nature of the hearing.

“That changed this entire dynamic of this first part of this hearing,” he said. “And Republicans now are going to have to take the rest of this hearing to probably try to clean that up.”

Looking forward

The question, of course, is whether Baier is right, and the answer is that he is probably not. Just think of it in legal terms: a prosecutor reading a real-time tweet of a defendant during a witness’ testimony and claiming that the tweet, which otherwise the witness would not have known about, amounts to intimidating the witness. This is nonsense. As White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham pointed out, the tweet “was not witness intimidation, it was simply the president’s opinion, which he is entitled to.”

Furthermore, Trump was simply helping us to understand who this witness is, a witness who clearly was not happy about being let go in May. Thanks to Trump, we now know why and we can now better judge her testimony.

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Robert Ayers

Robert Ayers is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a bachelor’s degree from Quinnipiac University and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut.