Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch (C) flanked by lawyers, aides and Capitol police, leaves the US Capitol October 11, 2019 in Washington, DC after testifying behind closed doors to the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees as part of the ongoing impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump.
PHOTO: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch (C) flanked by lawyers, aides and Capitol police, leaves the US Capitol October 11, 2019 in Washington, DC after testifying behind closed doors to the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees as part of the ongoing impeachment investigation against President Donald Trump.
Now playing
04:04
Marie Yovanovitch called 'bad news' by Donald Trump
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
03:44
Acting US Capitol Police chief explains 'operational challenges' from January 6 riot
Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) speaks with CNN
PHOTO: CNN
Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) speaks with CNN's Alisyn Camerota.
Now playing
07:17
Lawmaker reacts to Rep. Taylor Greene's tweet on her transgender daughter
Connolly
PHOTO: CNN
Connolly
Now playing
03:51
'I will not be lectured' on bipartisanship: Lawmaker fires back at Jim Jordan
US President Donald Trump speaks to the press from the South Lawn of the White House after announcing and initial deal with China in Washington, DC, prior to departing to Lake Charles, Louisiana to hold a campaign rally on October 11, 2019.
PHOTO: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump speaks to the press from the South Lawn of the White House after announcing and initial deal with China in Washington, DC, prior to departing to Lake Charles, Louisiana to hold a campaign rally on October 11, 2019.
Now playing
02:28
Romney says he's 'pretty sure' Trump will win 2024 nomination if he runs
Now playing
02:04
Senate moderates create obstacle for Biden's nominee
This picture taken 26 December 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC.  The Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DOD), is the world
PHOTO: Staff/AFP/Getty Images
This picture taken 26 December 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC. The Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DOD), is the world's largest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon. (Photo credit should read STAFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
04:30
Pentagon report gives insight on White supremacists in active military
Now playing
03:57
GOP senator continues to push riot conspiracy theory
Now playing
02:08
Cabinet secretary explains why he took on challenging role
Rep. Debra Haaland (D-NM), President Joe Biden
PHOTO: Leigh Vogel/Pool/Getty Images
Rep. Debra Haaland (D-NM), President Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of the Interior, testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resource, at the U.S. Capitol on February 24, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
00:59
'We need to work together': Haaland responds to question on blind loyalty
Now playing
01:35
Laughter follows awkward moment between GOP leaders
PHOTO: AFP/Getty Images/CNN
Now playing
03:11
Cabrera: GOP suddenly cares about mean tweets ... just not Trump's
Now playing
03:20
Avlon on Ron Johnson: Hyperpartisan denial is a hell of a drug
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation
PHOTO: Samuel Corum/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital today to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:04
Capitol officials say riot was planned and involved white supremacists
Then-President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a Make America Great Again rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, October 20, 2020.
PHOTO: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Then-President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a Make America Great Again rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, October 20, 2020.
Now playing
02:44
What Trump's released tax records mean for DA's criminal case
Now playing
02:51
'This is incredible': Burnett explains Trump's reported offer to Kim Jong Un
(CNN) —  

Donald Trump called Marie Yovanovitch “bad news.”

In a televised impeachment hearing Friday, the US ambassador to Ukraine that the President ousted for apparently thwarting his rogue foreign policy scheme, may prove him right.

Democrats called for the foreign service veteran’s testimony to lift the lid on what they say is a black diplomatic operation set up to push Trump’s political goals rather than America’s interests and to churn up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.

And Yovanovitch may not be the only bad news for the President. In a potentially significant development on Thursday evening, a lawyer for career Office of Management and Budget official Mark Sandy said her client would appear for a deposition on Saturday if he was subpoenaed.

Sandy could provide insight into whether the budget office acted on the President’s orders in withholding military aid to Ukraine – ostensibly in order to draw political concessions from the government.

Yovanovitch’s testimony could become a key piece in an indictment of Trump’s character, his willingness to infringe the guardrails of his office and ultimately to abuse his power that Democrats are putting at the center of their bid to oust him from office. Sharpening their case, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday claimed the evidence shows that Trump committed bribery by withholding military aid from Ukraine to get dirt on Biden.

After decades of behind-the-scenes service before her career was destroyed, Yovanovitch will be used as a human example of what critics say is the cost of Trump’s ruthless, self-centered leadership.

And the name Rudy Giuliani is also going to be ringing in everybody’s ears.

Yovanovitch said in a deposition to the House Intelligence Committee that officials in Kiev and Washington told her that she was being targeted by the President’s personal lawyer.

Giuliani’s activity in Ukraine forms a crucial plank of the impeachment case since Democrats see him as the battering ram who paved the way for Trump’s pressure on the Kiev government.

Witnesses have testified that the President’s fixation with a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election was fanned by his personal lawyer. Giuliani spent months claiming Biden and his son Hunter were guilty of corruption in Ukraine in a campaign amplified by conservative pundits. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by the Biden or his son – who was on the board of the Ukrainian energy giant Burisma.

’Tweet praise of the President’

Yovanovitch is crucial to the Democrats’ goal of painting a picture of a vain, out-of-control President abusing his power and bypassing established US diplomatic channels.

For instance, when she asked a colleague, US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, how to save her job, she said he advised her to tweet praise of the President.

Yovanovitch also testified that amid a personal campaign against her, she was told by a superior in April to get “on the next plane home” because there was nervousness about her in the White House and State Department and possible concerns about her security.

She follows two old-school US diplomats: George Kent and Bill Taylor, who opened televised hearings Wednesday by suggesting that Trump was motivated by getting dirt on Biden, a potential 2020 Democratic rival.

Like them, she may be accused by Trump’s supporters of being part of a “politicized bureaucracy” that disdains Trump and wants to usurp his power and thwart his “America First” policy.

Democrats will try to get Yovanovitch to explain her comment that she felt threatened by the President himself, after it emerged that he told Ukraine’s leader that she was “bad news” and was “going to go through some things.”

They may also seek an on-camera soundbite based on her comment that she was “incredulous that the US government chose to remove an ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”

Democratic counsel or lawmakers may also use Friday’s hearing to explore her belief that she may have been removed specifically because her fight against corruption threatened Giuliani’s now indicted associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.

Such testimony will undermine one of Trump’s top talking points – that he withheld $400 million in security aid to Ukraine as it battles pro-Russian separatists because he was concerned about corruption.

In reality, according to Yovanovitch, Giuliani was dealing with people in Kiev who opposed her own anti-corruption crusade – including fired prosecutor Yuri Lutsenko.

Republicans will argue – correctly – that a President has the right to fire anyone he wants. And they say her dismissal means she knows nothing about more recent events in Ukraine.

“You are going to hear a lot from Democrats tomorrow about Rudy Giuliani and none of it justifies anything close to impeachment,” Trump’s campaign said in a statement Thursday.

Pelosi adopts bribery terminology

Pelosi ratcheted up her own rhetoric on Thursday, charging that Trump engaged in “bribery.”

The terminology is a more easily understandable than the Latin phrase “quid pro quo,” which means “something for something.” And bribery is one of the offenses for which the Founding Fathers prescribed impeachment, along with treason and other high crimes and misdemeanors.

The political positioning is the latest twist in the battle for public opinion that could seal the fate of Trump’s presidency being waged by both sides ahead of a likely full House impeachment vote by the end of the year.

Republicans are trying to repair the damage from Wednesday’s first hearing, which appeared to unveil a direct link between the President and a bid to pressure the Kiev government. Taylor confided that one of his aides heard a call between Sondland and Trump the day after the President’s now notorious July 25 chat with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Trump, according to Taylor, asked Sondland about the “investigations” that he had asked his counterpart to begin, after asking him for a “favor.”

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday that there was “nothing new” in testimony that represented the first public disclosure of the call.

She also claimed, inaccurately, that hearsay would not be sufficient for the evidence to be admitted in a court of law.

The circumstances of the call may not be hearsay for much longer in any case. Sondland, a Republican mega donor, has been called to testify in public next week. He may have to choose between protecting his own legal position or the President’s.

And David Holmes, the Taylor aide who heard the call in a Kiev restaurant – in circumstances that raise serious security concerns – will give a private deposition on the impeachment investigation on Friday.

But the top Republican in the House, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, said Thursday that the testimony so far actually proved that there was no offense worthy of impeachment.

He claimed that the rough transcript of Trump’s call with Zelensky – that appears to show pressure for an investigation by the President – in fact clears him.

“Nothing is there that’s impeachable, and we should not be putting our country through this. We’re less than one year away from an election,” he said.