Representative Denny Heck, during the second day of the House’s public impeachment hearings, nearly broke down in tears during an emotional plea to former Ukraine ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch. The Democratic congressman from Washington was so furious with President Donald Trump while speaking to Yovanovitch, he was barely able to keep his composure.
During what became the most viral moment of impeachment hearings, Rep. Heck said, “I’m very angry about how it is that the most powerful person on the face of the Earth would remove you from office after your stellar service and somehow feel compelled to characterize you as ‘bad news’ and then to ominously threaten that you’re ‘going to go through some things.’ So, I am angry. But I’m not surprised.”
Rep. Heck, 67, who’s served Washington’s 10th congressional district since 2013, described how Trump treated Yovanovitch over the past year as a “smear campaign.” The congressman was referring to how Yovanovitch was abruptly removed from her position back in May, told to get “on the next plane” back to the U.S. without an explanation, and then discovered that the President had been pressuring State Department officials for many months to remove her and had lost confidence in her.
Yovanovitch, who served under six presidential administrations over her 33-year career, two Democratic and four Republican, was appointed by the President Bush to serve as the ambassador to Kyrgyzstan and Armenia before becoming deputy chief of mission of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. She’s worked at U.S. embassies around the world, including in Kiev, Moscow, London, Ottowa and Mogadishu.
President Barack Obama appointed Yovanovitch as the ambassador to Ukraine in 2016, and continued on in her role under President Trump until she received a phone call at 1 a.m., and was told she had to come back to the United States due to security issues.
Yovanovitch said in her testimony on Friday that this was “extremely irregular” and protested the move, and Rep. Heck made it clear that he won’t stand by and merely watch as Yovanovitch’s career was cut short. “You’re the best of this nation,” Heck concluded.
Rep. Heck’s Impassioned Plea Was Applauded By Many, While Others Accused Him Of Turning In An ‘Oscar Worthy Performance’
Heck’s named quickly became the No.1 trend on Twitter after his speech went viral, with many cheering him on for not just speaking from the heart, but giving a voice to everyone was watching the impeachment hearings at home.
Holly Figueroa O’Reilly, op-ed writer for The Washington Post tweeted, “Denny Heck, whose brother died in Vietnam, is furious that Trump has attacked Ambassador Yovanovitch, just as he did John McCain and Gold Star families.”
However, not everyone was buying the emotional plea. Numerous users online found it rehearsed, and called him a “sell out.” Emerald Robinson, Chief White House correspondent for One America News tweeted, “Perhaps Denny Heck can just give Ambassador Yovanovitch the George Soros Distinguished Service Award that she deserves, and let us all get on with our lives.”