Is this intimidation? It's certainly trash talk:
House Democrats are calling Donald Trump’s decision to attack Marie Yovanovitch mid-hearing on Friday a blatant example of witness intimidation, further building the case to charge the president with obstruction in potential articles of impeachment....
“What you saw today — witness intimidation in real-time by the president of the United States,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told reporters during a brief pause in the hearing.
“Once again, going after this dedicated and respected career public servant in an effort to not only chill her but to chill others who may come forward,” Schiff added. “We take this kind of witness intimidation and obstruction of inquiry very seriously.”
It's a warning -- prostrate yourself before the God Emperor or incur his wrath -- though it could be argued that Yovanovitch's early termination as ambassador to Ukraine already sent that message.
More intimidating, I think, was this:
The phrase “I hired Donald Trump to fire people like Yovanovitch" trended on Twitter on Friday morning as Marie Yovanovitch, former US ambassador to Ukraine, testified in front of the impeachment inquiry held by the House Intelligence Committee. And while it may have seemed like a spontaneous outcry from the president's supporters, the phrase has spread at a rate consistent with the coordinated inauthentic behavior expected from a network of bots or sock puppet accounts....
A representative for Twitter told BuzzFeed News that the company was looking into whether the activity was coordinated. Later in the day, several accounts in BuzzFeed News’ data set were suspended.
As well as this:
Is that obstruction of justice on the part of Junior, or on the part of spammers who quite possibly have direct ties to Trumpworld? You decide:
18 U.S.C. § 1503 defines "obstruction of justice" as an act that "corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice."
Someone obstructs justice when that person has a specific intent to obstruct or interfere with a judicial proceeding. For a person to be convicted of obstructing justice, that person must not only have the specific intent to obstruct the proceeding, but that person must know (1) that a proceeding was actually pending at the time; and (2) there must be a connection between the endeavor to obstruct justice and the proceeding, and the person must have knowledge of this connection.
§ 1503 applies only to federal judicial proceedings. Under 18 U.S.C. § 1505, however, a defendant can be convicted of obstruction of justice by obstructing a pending proceeding before Congress or a federal administrative agency.
But this feels worse than witness intimidation. It seems Khmer Rouge-y: Junior and the spammers don't just seem angry at the witnesses because they've exposed Trump's misdeeds. They clearly believe that these people were worthy of being purged before Trump's inauguration, just because (in Junior's words) they're "career government bureaucrats." They regard that alone as a firing offense.
They want to purge everyone with expertise. They don't want to replace them with people who are similarly skilled but corrupt -- they want to replace them with unskilled hacks, or with no one at all. It's not just corruption -- it's nihilism.
Published with permission from No More Mr. Nice Blog