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Why impeachment hearings for President Trump aren't getting any prettier

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

From my seat in the Committee Room, amid all of the complexity of the impeachment inquiry, one part of this is clear.

This is not getting any prettier.

Even as a distinguished US diplomat gives evidence to Congress and the American people, the president is on Twitter attacking her.

The ousted US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, has served in multiple overseas hardship postings, including in Somalia. As she was talking, Trump was tweeting his real-time social media response.

Just imagine how this is going down in US embassies around the world.

Many serving American ambassadors will be enraged - this is a brazen assault on their work by their ultimate boss.

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Democrats are now accusing Trump of open witness intimidation with that tweet.

Yovanovitch is a softy spoken witness, the third to be called in a public televised session before the House Intelligence Committee. But the testimony is powerful too.

She felt humiliated that while she was battling corruption in Ukraine, she was fatally undermined by other corrupt forces - those in Washington, not Ukraine.

Yovanovitch testifying at the impeachment hearings. Credit: AP

Yovanovitch spoke of being amazed that those Ukrainians seeking corrupt profit and power “found Americans willing to partner with them and, working together, apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a US ambassador”.

These hearings have a long way to run.

But Democrats feel their witnesses testifying in front of the cameras will sway public opinion in favour of impeachment.

But are Americans really tuning in? Do voters actually care? The President and his loyal cadre of Republicans in Congress are betting they don’t. And that may explain the latest tweet from the White House - talking of a record stock market.