Schiff delivers opening statement on Day 2 of impeachment hearings

Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said President Trump shouldn't use his authority to "destroy others to advance his personal or political interests."
6:44 | 11/15/19

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Transcript for Schiff delivers opening statement on Day 2 of impeachment hearings
In April 2019. The United States ambassador to Ukraine. Marie Ivanovic was in Q have. When she was called by a senior State Department official. And told to get on the next plane back to Washington. Upon her return to DC. She was informed by her superiors that although she had done nothing wrong. She could no longer serve as ambassador to Ukraine. Because she did not have the confidence of the president. It was a stunning turn of events for this highly regarded career diplomat. Who had done such remarkable job fighting corruption in Ukraine. At a short time earlier she had been asked by the State Department to extend her tour. Amassing Ivanovic has been in the foreign service were 33 years. And serve much of that time in the former Soviet Union. Her parents have fled Stalin and later Hitler before settling in the United States. She is an exemplary officer. Who was widely praised and respected by her colleagues. She is known as an anti corruption champion whose tour in Q have was viewed as very successful. Master Michael McKinley who had served with her in the foreign service for several decades stated that from the earliest days of her career. In the foreign service she was. Excellent serious committed I certainly remember her being one of those people who seems to be destined for greater things. Her successor is acting chief of mission in Ukraine a master Bill Taylor. Described her as very frank she was very direct she made points very clearly and she was indeed tough on corruption. And she named names. And that sometimes is controversial out but out there but she's a strong person and made those charges. In her time in Q have ambassador Ivanovic was tough on corruption. Too tough on corruption for some. And are principled stance made her enemies. As George Kent told this committee on Wednesday. It can't promote principled anti corruption action without pissing off corrupt people. And ambassador Ivanovic and did not just pissed off corrupt ukrainians. Like the Krupp for a prosecutor general fury lit Santo. But also. Certain Americans. Like Rudy Giuliani Donald Trump's personal turning. And two individuals now indicted who worked with him eager for a minute and let part us. Which sank go Giuliani. Truman are not sent others who would come to include the president's own son Don junior. Promoted a smear campaign against her based on false allegations. At the State Department there was an effort to push back. To obtain a statement of support from secretary Pompeo. But those efforts failed when it became clear that president trump wanted her gone. Some of argued. That a president has the ability to nominate or remove any and Vassar he wants that they serve at the pleasure of the president. And that is true. The question before us is not whether Donald Trump could recall an American ambassador with a stellar reputation. For fighting corruption in Ukraine. But why would he want to. Why did Rudy Giuliani want her gone. And why did Donald Trump. And why would Donald Trump and struck the new team he put in place. The three amigos Gordon someone Rick Perry and Kurt Volker. To work with the same man Rudy Giuliani. Who played such a central role in the smear campaign against her. Rudy Giuliani has made no secret of his desire to get Ukraine to open investigations into the Biden's. As well as a conspiracy theory of Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. As he said in one interview inmates when he nineteen. We're not meddling in an election where many it meddling in an investigation. Which we have a right to do. More recently he told CNN's Chris Cuomo of course I did when asked if he had pressed Ukraine to investigate Joseph Biden. And he has never been shy about who we is doing this work for. His client. To president. One powerful ally Giuliani having Ukraine to promote these political investigations was Lucent co. The corrupt former prosecutor general. And one powerful adversary loot Sankoh had was a certain United States ambassador. Named Marie the Ivanovic. It is no coincidence that in the now infamous July 25 call was a Lansky. Donald Trump brings up a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor. And praises him. Against all evidence trump claims that this former prosecutor general was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. But the woman known for fighting corruption. His own former ambassador the woman ruthlessly smeared and driven from her post. The president does nothing but disparage. Or worse. Threaten. Well she's going to go through some things the president declares. That tells you a lot about the president's priorities. And intentions. Getting rid of and mastery Ivanovic helped set the stage for an irregular channel that could pursue the two investigations that mattered so much to the president. The to any sixteen conspiracy theory. And most important an investigation into the 20/20 political opponent he apparently feared most Joseph Biden. And the present scheme might have worked but for the fact that the man who would succeed him bastard Ivanovic. We heard from on Wednesday acting a master tailor. What eventually discover the effort to press Ukraine into conducting these investigations. And would push back. But for the fact also that someone blew the whistle. Ambassador Ivanovic. Was serving our nation's interest in fighting corruption in Ukraine. But she was considered an obstacle to them furtherance of the president's personal and political agenda. For that she was smeared and cast aside. The powers of the presidency. Are immense. But they are not absolute. And they cannot be used for corrupt purpose. The American people expect their president to use the authority they grant him. In the service of the nation. Not to destroy others to advance his personal or political interests.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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