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President Trump attacked former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in a pair of tweets as she testified Friday in the House's impeachment inquiry.

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.
They call it “serving at the pleasure of the President.” 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.

The big picture: White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told reporters earlier today that Trump "will be watching [ranking House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Devin Nunes'] opening statement, but the rest of the day he will be working hard for the American people."

  • Trump's 10:01 a.m. tweet came 35 minutes after Nunes' opening statement concluded at 9:26 a.m.

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) read the tweets directly to Yovanovitch about 20 minutes after Trump posted them, adding that "some of us here take witness intimidation very seriously."

  • "It's very intimidating. ... I mean, I can't speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is trying to be intimidating."

The state of play: Multiple House Democrats have said during a break in the hearing that Trump's tweets may trigger an article of impeachment, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.

  • She adds that Trump's tweet is the type of attack that Republicans told her they were hoping to avoid today.
  • Grisham issued a statement on Trump's tweet, saying, "The tweet was not witness intimidation, it was simply the president’s opinion, which he is entitled to. This is not a trial, it is a partisan political process — or to put it more accurately, a totally illegitimate, charade stacked against the president. There is less due process in this hearing than any such event in the history of our country. It’s a true disgrace."

Watch video of Yovanovitch's exchange with Schiff:

Go deeper: Live updates on Yovanovitch's impeachment hearing

Go deeper

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1 p.m. the day after the article is transmitted. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had been pushing for the trial to begin in mid-February, arguing that it will force the Senate to delay other important business.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Private equity bets on delayed tax reform in Biden administration

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In normal times, private equity would be nervous about Democratic Party control of both the White House and Congress. But in pandemic-consumed 2021, the industry seems sanguine.

Driving the news: Industry executives and lobbyists paid very close attention to Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen's confirmation hearings this week, and came away convinced that tax reform isn't on the near-term agenda.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

New Energy Department roles look to animate Biden's campaign themes

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The burst of Biden administration staffing picks announced yesterday revealed that the Energy Department (DOE) has newly created roles that reflect what President Biden called campaign priorities.

Driving the news: One new position is "director of energy jobs," which is being filled by Jennifer Jean Kropke. She was previously the first director of workforce and environmental engagement with Local 11 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.