The fired U.S. ambassador to Ukraine sounded an alarm Friday about the denigration of American diplomacy and the hollowing out of the State Department under President Donald Trump as she recounted how she became an early casualty of the behind-the-scenes negotiations that led to the impeachment inquiry.
In often steely, defiant tones, Marie Yovanovitch told House investigators that the failure of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other senior officials to publicly defend her and other career diplomats from political attacks by Trump and his supporters has contributed to severe demoralization in the State Department.
“I remain disappointed that the department’s leadership and others have declined to acknowledge that the attacks against me and others are dangerously wrong,” Yovanovitch told Congress. “This is about far more than me or a couple of individuals. As Foreign Service professionals are being denigrated and undermined, the institution is also being degraded.”
Her testimony, which also included a defense of the role of American diplomats, put a public face on deep dissatisfaction in the department under Trump. His administration has slashed the department’s budget, left many important posts open for extended periods and often disdained the work of the foreign service.
The Ukraine affair has only added to the problems, she said.
”The attacks are leading to a crisis in the State Department as the policy process is visibly unravelling, leadership vacancies go unfilled, and senior and midlevel officers ponder an uncertain future and head for the doors,” Yovanovitch said. “The crisis has moved from the impact on individuals to an impact on the institution. The State Department is being hollowed out from within at a competitive and complex time on the world stage.”
Trump has dismissed the accounts of the former ambassador and the other senior diplomats who raised concerns about his apparent effort to force the government of Ukraine to conduct investigations that would help his reelection — and that not following through meant risking the loss of badly needed U.S. military aid. Trump and his supporters have derided these diplomats “Never Trumpers,” or part of the “deep state.”
Pompeo has shrugged off their complaints, denying reports that morale has cratered at the agency. He made no mention of the Ukraine affair in a speech in Texas on Friday, except to make a joke about “quid pro quo,” the Latin phrase that has come to prominence in the inquiry.
Some believe that Pompeo’s silence has damaged his department and the credibility of American diplomacy.
“We have a secretary of state who presided over this mess, he enabled it, he refused to stand up for individuals who had had enough and came forward,” said Aaron David Miller, a retired career foreign service officer who served under seven secretaries of state and is now with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “He is further damaged in the eyes of his own department, in the eyes of Washington and in capitals abroad.”
Yovanovitch, an immigrant and 33-year veteran of the Foreign Service, testified that she felt intimidated and was stunned when she was abruptly recalled from her post in Kyiv despite being told that she had done nothing wrong and had an exemplary record.
Trump has spoken negatively of Yovanovitch in the past, telling Ukraine’s president in a July 25 phone call that Yovanovitch was “bad news.” Democrats allege her ouster was part of a Trump scheme to open up an alternate diplomatic channel with Ukraine run by his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to advance his own personal interests.
As Yovanovitch was testifying Friday, Trump launched a new Twitter attack on her, blaming her for crises in countries where she had previously served. “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” Trump said. “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.”
Trump’s attempt to interrupt her testimony came as Yovanovitch was lauding her colleagues, many of whom serve in extreme and dangerous situations. She recalled the Iranian hostage crisis, the unexplained injuries to American diplomats in Cuba and the deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others in the 2011 attack in Benghazi that drew outrage from Republicans.
The Benghazi reference was notable because GOP lawmakers, including then-Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., conducted well-publicized inquiries into the attack, accusing the Obama administration and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of negligence and attempting to cover up the circumstances around it.
“We are people who repeatedly uproot our lives, who risk — and sometimes give — our lives for this country,” Yovanovitch said.
The White House says President Donald Trump’s tweets criticizing former U.S. Ambassador Maria Yovanovitch as she testified before the House as part of its impeachment inquiry was “not witness intimidation.”
Trump has drawn criticism for tweeting early in Yovanovitch’s testimony that everywhere the career diplomat was posted “turned bad.”
Yovanovitch said the tweets were “very intimidating” to her and other witnesses.
But White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham says Trump did nothing wrong. She says in a statement that the tweets were “simply the President’s opinion, which he is entitled to.”
She’s also criticized the hearing as a “partisan political process” and “totally illegitimate, charade stacked against the President.”
A Republican lawyer has asked former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch about efforts by Ukrainian officials to undermine Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
GOP lawyer Steve Castor cited a 2016 op-ed in The Hill newspaper, written by Ukraine’s then ambassador to the U.S., which criticized Trump for comments that appeared to suggest Russia's annexation of Crimea was valid. Ukraine strongly opposes the annexation.
Castor said the op-ed showed that Ukrainian officials supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign, adding that the ambassador “said some nasty things" about Trump in the op-ed and on Twitter.
Yovanovitch replied, "Sometimes that happens on social media.''
Her comment came hours after Trump attacked Yovanovitch on Twitter as she began her testimony in the impeachment inquiry. Trump tweeted, “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.’’
Democrats call the tweet witness intimidation.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Maria Yovanovitch is rejecting the notion that Ukraine tried to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, as President Donald Trump has proposed.
Trump has said that Ukraine tried to “take me down.”
Testifying in Friday’s impeachment hearing, Yovanovitch said “we didn’t really see it that way.”
She noted that the U.S. intelligence community “has conclusively determined” that those who interfered in that election were in Russia.
Yovanovitch also pushed back against Trump’s suggestions that former Vice President Joe Biden was pursuing his own interests in Ukraine during President Barack Obama’s administration. She said he was pursuing “official U.S. policy.”
The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee is arguing that former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch “is not a material fact witness” in the House impeachment probe of President Donald Trump.
California Rep. Devin Nunes said the details of her May ouster at Trump’s direction are a human resources issue, instead of a matter relevant to the Democrat-led investigation.
Democrats are investigating Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and his direct appeals to the country to investigate Democrats. They say Yovanovitch’s dismissal set the stage for a separate policy channel lead by Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani pushed for her firing.
Nunes noted that she had not talked to Trump this year or been part of preparations for a July phone call in which Trump asked the Ukrainian president for the investigations.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says witness intimidation is a crime.
But she’s stopping just short of saying that President Donald Trump crossed that line with a tweet attacking the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine as she testified in the House impeachment hearings.
The California Democrat told reporters she’d not seen Trump’s tweet. He wrote that every country where Marie Yovanovitch worked as an envoy “turned bad.”
Asked if that tweet was witness intimidation, Pelosi said, “Witness intimidation is a crime.”
She said one question was if such actions by Trump were “keeping people from giving facts and then saying, ‘You don’t have the facts.’”
Asked if Trump’s tweet was appropriate, she says, "Appropriate and president in the same sentence? Come on. Why would we start making that judgment now?"
Two Republican lawmakers at Friday’s impeachment hearing with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch say they think her testimony is irrelevant.
Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania said Yovanovitch is “a very nice lady” but he believes Democrats are using her. Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina says the public is just learning about her feelings.
Yovanovitch described her ouster in May at Trump’s direction and a campaign against her by Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. The impeachment investigation is looking at Trump and Giuliani’s efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Democrats. She was ousted before a July call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for the investigations.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Yovanovitch’s ouster “helped set the stage for an irregular channel” of conducting Ukraine policy that was used to push for the investigations.
The No. 3 Republican in the House says President Donald Trump “was wrong” to post tweets critical of former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch during her testimony in the impeachment hearings.
Rep. Liz Cheney said Yovanovitch “clearly is somebody who’s been a public servant to the United States for decades and I don’t think the president should have done that.”
The Wyoming Republican served in senior State Department roles when her father, Dick Cheney, was vice president and she has been more supportive of the career diplomats that have so far testified than some other Republicans.
Trump tweeted about Yovanovitch as she was answering questions from lawmakers, noting that she’d once served in Somalia and adding, “How did that go?” He tweeted: “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.”
Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch says President Donald Trump’s tweets about her during her testimony in the impeachment hearings are “very intimidating” to her and other witnesses.
Trump tweeted about Yovanovitch as she was answering questions from lawmakers, noting that she’d once served in Somalia and adding, “How did that go?” He tweeted: “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.”
Yovanovitch responded to Trump’s charge, saying, “I don’t think I have such powers.” She said she and her colleagues have improved conditions in places where they’ve served.
Yovanovitch was abruptly dumped as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine this spring. State Department officials never criticized her performance.
The career diplomat testified Friday that she’d been felled by a smear campaign orchestrated by Trump and his allies.
Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch says she was told by a colleague that “the color drained from my face” as she read a rough transcript of a phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which Trump said Yovanovitch was “going to go through some things.”
The rough transcript was released in September, months after Yovanovitch was ousted from the job at Trump’s direction. She told lawmakers at the second House impeachment hearing Friday that it felt like a vague threat.
Yovanovitch said it was a “terrible moment” and that words fail her even now to describe it.
She said it was hard to believe "the president would talk to any ambassador like that to a foreign head of state, and it was me. I mean, I couldn’t believe it."
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch says she was devastated when she learned President Donald Trump wanted to remove her from her post.
A top State Department official told Yovanovitch in April to come back to Washington from Ukraine “on the next plane.’’
Yovanovitch told Congress Friday that Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan “said the words that every foreign service officer” fears: “‘The president has lost confidence in you.’ That was a terrible thing to hear.”
Sullivan told her that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “was no longer able to protect” her from attacks led by Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
Yovanovitch said the call “made me feel terrible. After 33 years of service to our country ... it was not the way I wanted my career to end.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch says she was told last April by a State Department official to return to the United States “on the next plane” because of concerns “up the street” — a phrase she understood to mean the White House.
Yovanovitch said she received the call at 1 a.m. from an official who said she needed to come home right away. The person said there were concerns about her security.
She asked if that meant her physical security. The person said no.
Yovanovitch said this was “extremely irregular” and she argued. But she eventually returned, where she learned that President Donald Trump no longer wanted her to serve.
Marie Yovanovitch says she had a reputation for championing anti-corruption interests in Ukraine.
Yovanovitch, who was recalled last spring from her job as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, said under questioning from Rep. Adam Schiff that that work may have upset certain officials in Ukraine.
She says State Department officials tried to produce a statement of support for her after her abrupt recall from her post, but she was told that effort was unsuccessful because the officials feared their message would be undercut by the president.
She says she was told that she had lost the president’s confidence and flew from Ukraine on the same day as the inauguration of Ukraine’s president.
President Donald Trump is attacking a witness in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry while she is testifying before lawmakers.
Trump tweets that “everywhere” that former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch went “turned bad."
Noting her postings in the foreign service, Trump says: “She started off in Somalia, how did that go?”
Trump says he has the “absolute right” to appoint ambassadors.
Yovanovitch is a career foreign service officer with a solid reputation. She testified Friday that she was the victim of “a campaign of disinformation” that used “unofficial back channels” leading to her removal from Ukraine.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch has told Congress that attacks from corrupt interests have created a crisis at the State Dept.
Yovanovitch is testifying openly before the House Intelligence Committee in its impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
She told lawmakers that she was the victim of “a campaign of disinformation” that used “unofficial back channels” leading to her removal from Ukraine. She says it “continues to amaze” her that Americans partnered with “Ukrainians who preferred to play by the old corrupt rules” in pushing for her removal.
Yovanovitch is also sounding alarm that senior State Department officials did not defend her from attacks from the president’s allies, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. She is telling lawmakers about a “crisis in the State Department.”
She says: “The State Department is being hollowed out from within at a competitive and complex time on the world stage.”
The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee has read aloud a memo circulated by the White House that summarizes the first conversation between President Donald Trump and his newly elected Ukrainian counterpart.
The first conversation took place in April after the election of Volodymyr Zelenskiy. It consists largely of pleasantries and words of congratulations.
The White House made a record of the conversation public at the start of the House impeachment hearing on Friday.
Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, read the document aloud to suggest that there was nothing untoward in the conversation.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee chairman, said Trump should also "release the thousands of other records that he has instructed the State Department not to release.”
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.
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes said the hearings were “spectacles” for Democrats to “advance their operation to topple a duly elected president."
The House has opened a second day of Trump impeachment hearings with Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was suddenly recalled back to the U.S. by President Donald Trump.
Yovanovitch is expected to testify about her ouster, which another diplomat has called a “smear” campaign against her by Trump allies.
The live public hearings by the House Intelligence Committee are being held to determine whether Trump should be removed from office over his actions toward Ukraine.
The investigation centers on Trump’s July 25 phone call when he asked the new Ukraine president for a favor — to investigate Democrats and potential 2020 rival Joe Biden — as the White House was withholding military aid to the Eastern European nation.
Yovanovitch and others have described Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, as leading what one called an “irregular channel” outside the diplomatic mainstream of U.S.-Ukraine relations.
The former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine has arrived on Capitol Hill to testify in the Trump impeachment inquiry.
Marie Yovanovitch is the witness for the second day of public hearings. She’s expected to tell lawmakers about her sudden ouster as President Donald Trump recalled the career ambassador back to the United States.
Other diplomats testifying in the investigation have defended Yovanovitch, saying she was the target of “smear” campaign by the president’s allies. She has served both Democratic and Republican presidents.
The rare impeachment inquiry is focused on Trump’s actions toward Ukraine. Democrats say it amounts to bribery, as the president withheld military aid to Ukraine while he pushed the country to investigate rival Democrats, including Joe Biden.
Trump calls the probe a hoax and says he did nothing wrong.
The House will hear from a singular witness Friday in the Trump impeachment hearings: Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was targeted by the president’s allies in a “smear” campaign now central to the probe.
The career diplomat, who served both Republican and Democratic presidents, is expected to relay her striking story of being suddenly recalled by Donald Trump and told to “watch my back.” It was all part of a swiftly developing series of events that sounded alarms about the White House’s shadow foreign policy.
Friday is the second day of public hearings to consider removing America’s 45th president. Democrats and Republicans are hardening their messages to voters as they try to sway voter opinion amid a deeply polarized public.
The House will hear from a singular witness Friday in the Trump impeachment hearings: Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was targeted by the president’s allies in a “smear” campaign now central to the inquiry.
A senior U.S. coalition commander said Friday the partnership with Syrian Kurdish forces remains strong and focused on fighting the Islamic State group, despite an expanding Turkish incursion into areas under Kurdish control.
The U.S.-Syrian Kurdish relationship, which dates back to 2014, was strained after President Donald Trump last month ordered American troops out of northern Syria, making way for a Turkish invasion of Kurdish-held towns and villages along a stretch of the border.
On Friday, reports said U.S. forces completed their withdrawal from Kobani, a border region where the partnership against IS was cemented in 2014, and that Russians moved into to replace them.
The commander’s comments to The Associated Press reflect how troops on the ground are trying to stick to the original aims of the Syria mission despite a reduced and changed footprint. They say they are staying to fight alongside Kurdish forces against the Islamic State group, as well as deny IS the oil fields as a source of revenue while showing support for the Kurdish fighters who have lost a sizeable part of the 30 percent of syria they once controlled. Their words however come as Trump says the mission now is focused on securing oil fields and infrastructure.
Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric T. Hill told the AP on Friday that Islamic State militants remain “a global threat” and that the partnership with the Kurds and international action is still needed against it.
“So, I don't think the work is complete. We still have to pursue them and eliminate them everywhere we can find them,” he told the AP in a telephone interview from Baghdad.
Hill said IS militants are trying to regroup and find new financing, are still interacting with supporters on social media and continue to plot attacks through affiliates around the world. Syria and Iraq, he said, remain “the center point for all Daesh operations,” he added, using the Arabic acronym for IS. “This is where Daesh lives and where they coordinate their acts of terror."
Kurdish and American forces are now operating in a region that is more complicated and crowded with troops since the Turks began their attack on northeast Syria in early October, aimed at pushing the Kurdish fighters away from the border.
Turkish forces have consolidated control over a stretch of the border running 120 kilometers (70 miles) wide and 30 kilometers (20 miles) deep into Syria. They have also kept up pressure outside that area, fighting with Kurdish forces on the edges.
Syrian government forces and their Russian allies have moved into other parts of the border under a Russian-Turkish deal.
U.S. officials emphasize that they will not fight Turkey, a NATO ally.
But Hill underscored that the U.S. was standing by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. "We have been working with (the SDF) for a long time and we continue to train and work with them now,” Hill said. “So I think the partnership is strong.”
He said the SDF are “the lead on the ground” in fighting IS. “They know the land, they know the people, and they know the players. They are the best force to fight Daesh, " he said.
While IS has lost its territorial control in Iraq and Syria, its militants continue to wage insurgent attacks.
Hill said his troops continue to train, advise and equip the Kurdish-led forces. The SDF is guarding the oil fields while the U.S. is providing them help in doing so, he said.
Both sides have sought to show the U.S.-Kurdish partnership never waned. One American commando who works closely with the SDF said at no one point there was any drop in communication between the two sides, even as U.S. forces were pulling out from border areas ahead of the Turkish invasion.
“The friendship didn’t end to restart. It continues. We hope it also reaps political results to find a political solution,” Mustafa Bali, an SDF spokesman, told AP earlier this week.
Over the last five years, the Kurdish-led forces have grown to between 40,000 to 60,000, including Arab fighters. The U.S. has provided them training, ammunition and tactical vehicles but no heavy weapons. In the campaign against IS, the SDF have lost 11,000 fighters.
Trump’s expansion of the mission raises legal questions.
Protecting the oil from IS can fit under the legal authority that the U.S. first used to go into Syria to fight the militants. That was based on Congress’ 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force that said U.S. troops can use all necessary force against those involved in the Sept. 11 attacks and to prevent any future acts of international terrorism.
But the oil fields may more immediately be under threat from the Syrian government, backed by Russia and Iran. The U.S. troops are not legally mandated to fight state actors fighting for oil on sovereign soil but can only engage in self-defense.
Hill didn’t address this issue but said his forces are “prepared for all scenarios.”
"We have very clear orders and we have very clear guidance on the direction that we will go," Hill said. “Clarity of our mission and the clarity of our orders remain. We are focused on Daesh resurgence.”
During a recent visit to two U.S. bases in eastern Syria, AP journalists saw beefed up forces that focused on holding ground, such as Bradley armored vehicles and Marines forces who could secure bases. There was no sign that Americans were directly guarding oil installations.
On Friday, reports from a war monitor and a Kurdish news agency said U.S. troops completed their withdrawal from their last position in the Kobani region, an air base known as the Kobani Landing Zone.
Russian military police deployed in the base, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Video aired by the Kurdistan 24 news agency showed a Russian flag hoisted at the site.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told reporters earlier this week that the withdrawal from Kobani would take a week or so.
Kobani was a scene of the first major battle to drive out IS in 2014, making it a symbol of U.S.-Kurdish cooperation against the militants. During the invasion, Turkish officials have threatened to move in on Kobani, which would allow Turkey to link up its territories it holds to the west with newly captured areas to the east.
Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad repeated warnings that the American presence in Syria will lead to armed “resistance” that “will exact losses among the Americans, and consequently force them to leave.”
Speaking with Russia24 TV and Rossiya Segodnya news agency, Assad said Americans should remember the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and that “Syria will not be an exception.”
He also criticized Kurdish groups seeking to set up an autonomous region inside Syria. “We shall never accept any separatist propositions under any circumstances,” he said.
In northwestern Syria, an airstrike on the village of Bara in Idlib province killed five people and wounded several others, according to the Observatory and the Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets. The dead included three children who were brothers, the Observatory said.
Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in Syria, is dominated by members of al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. A cease-fire stopped the government offensive on Idlib at the end of August but in recent days, opposition activists have reported shelling and airstrikes in the area.
Roger Stone, a longtime friend and ally of President Donald Trump, was found guilty Friday of witness tampering and lying to Congress about his pursuit of Russian-hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election bid.
Stone was convicted of all seven counts in an indictment that accused him of lying to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to tip the 2016 election.
He is the sixth Trump aide or adviser to be convicted of charges brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Stone has denied wrongdoing and consistently criticized the case against him as politically motivated. He did not take the stand during the trial and his lawyers did not call any witnesses in his defense.
Scheduling was sentenced for Feb. 6. Stone, 67, could face up to 20 years in prison.
In a trial that lasted about a week, witnesses highlighted how Trump campaign associates were eager to gather information about emails the U.S. says were hacked by Russia and then provided to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
Steve Bannon, who served as the campaign’s chief executive, testified during the trial the trial that Stone had boasted about his ties to WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, alerting them to pending new batches of damaging emails. Campaign officials saw Stone as the “access point” to WikiLeaks, he said.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors used Stone's own text messages and emails — some of which appeared to contradict his congressional testimony — to lay out their case that he lied to Congress and threatened a witness. Stone did not testify, and his lawyers called no witnesses in his defense.
On Tuesday, a top former Trump campaign official, Rick Gates, who was a key cooperator in the Mueller probe, testified that that Stone tried to contact Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, to "debrief" him about developments on the hacked emails.
Prosecutors alleged Stone lied to Congress about his conversations about WikiLeaks with New York radio host and comedian Randy Credico — who scored an interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2016, when he was avoiding prosecution by sheltering in the Ecuadoran embassy in London — and conservative writer and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi.
During the 2016 campaign, Stone had mentioned in interviews and public appearances that he was in contact with Assange through a trusted intermediary and hinted at inside knowledge of WikiLeaks' plans. But he started pressing Credico to broker a contact, and Credico testified that he told Stone to work through his own intermediary.
Earlier testimony revealed that Stone, while appearing before the House Intelligence Committee, named Credico as his intermediary to Assange and pressured Credico not to contradict him.
After Credico was contacted by Congress, he reached out to Stone, who told him he should "stonewall it" and "plead the fifth," he testified. Credico also testified during Stone’s trial that Stone repeatedly told him to “do a ‘Frank Pentangeli,’” a reference to a character in “The Godfather: Part II” who lies before Congress.
Prosecutors said Stone had also threatened Credico's therapy dog, Bianca, saying he was “going to take that dog away from you.”
An arctic blast that caused record-setting cold in the Midwest is now spreading shivers across the eastern U.S.
The wintry weather proved deadly in southwestern Michigan, where a man died Tuesday after getting trapped beneath machinery he was using to clear snow.
Temperatures dipped to single digits early Wednesday across parts of the Northeast on the heels of an early-season snowstorm. Forecasters projected even lower temperatures for late Wednesday and early Thursday in some locations.
National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Bloomer in Caribou, Maine, said the frigid airmass is creating mid-winter conditions.
Record low temperatures were recorded Tuesday around New York City; Buffalo, New York; Burlington, Vermont; and parts of Ohio. Records were also broken Wednesday morning in Burlington, parts of Pennsylvania, and as far south as Alabama and Mississippi.