1. Various, Marie Yovanovitch walks into the hearing room and is seated
2. Mid, Schiff opens hearing
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Committee Chairman:
"Her successor as acting Chief of Mission in Ukraine, Ambassador Bill Taylor, described her as 'very frank, she was very direct. She made points very clearly, and she was indeed tough on corruption, and she named names and that sometimes is controversial out there, but she's a strong person and made those charges.' In her time in Kyiv, Ambassador Yovanovitch was tough on corruption, too tough on corruption for some, and her principled stance made her enemies. As George Kent told this committee on Wednesday, "you can't promote principled anti-corruption action without pissing-off corrupt people."
4. Pan of hearing
5. Close-up Yovanovitch listening
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Committee Chairman:
"It is no coincidence that in the now infamous July 25th call with Zelenskiy, Donald Trump brings up a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor and praises him. Against all evidence, Trump claims that this former prosecutor general was 'very good' and 'he was shut down and that's really unfair.' But the woman known for fighting corruption, his own former Ambassador, the woman ruthlessly smeared and driven from her post, the president does nothing but disparage. Or worse, threaten. "Well, she's going to go through some things," the President declares. That tells you a lot about the President's priorities and intentions. Getting rid of Ambassador Yovanovitch helped set stage for an irregular channel that could pursue the two investigations that mattered so much to the President, the 2016 conspiracy theory, and most important, an investigation into the 2020 political opponent he apparently feared most, Joe Biden. And the President's scheme might have worked but for the fact that the man who would succeed Ambassador Yovanovitch, whom we heard from on Wednesday, acting Ambassador Taylor, would eventually discover the effort to press Ukraine into conducting these investigations and would push back hard, but for the fact that someone blew the whistle.
Ambassador Yovanovitch was serving our nation's interest in fighting corruption in Ukraine, but she was considered an obstacle to the furtherance of the President's personal and political agenda. For that she was smeared and cast aside. The powers of the presidency are immense, but they are not absolute and cannot be used for a corrupt purpose. The American people expect their President to use the authority they grant him in the service of the nation, not to destroy others to advance his personal or political interests. "
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff says former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was "smeared and cast aside" by President Donald Trump because she was considered an obstacle to his personal and political agenda.
Opening the second public House impeachment hearing, Schiff said the question isn't whether Trump could recall Yovanovitch but why would he want to?
Yovanovitch testified behind closed doors last month that she was told to "watch her back" before she was ousted in May as Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani led a shadow foreign policy.
Schiff said pushback at the State Department failed when it became clear that Trump wanted her gone.