The first day of public testimony in the impeachment hearing into Donald Trump provided several highlights, most especially Ambassador Bill Taylor’s new revelation that one of his staffers heard Ambassador Gordon Sondland talking to Trump directly on his cellphone in a Kyiv restaurant and that Trump asked about the “investigations” of the Bidens. It was the first mention of that conversation, and it’s a big detail, especially considering that Trump recently claimed he barely knows Sondland, and that Sondland had previously testified about one conversation with Trump, and not this conversation.
There was the moment when Rep. Jim Jordan yelled and stomped his feet, insisting that House members should be able to call the whistleblower to publicly testify. Jordan referred to the whistleblower as “the one who started it all” and insisted he must be called. Never mind that the facts laid out in the whistleblower complaint have been credibly corroborated by everyone involved. When Jordan wrapped up his on-the-record tantrum, it was Rep. Peter Welch’s turn at the microphone, and the first thing he did was to pivot to Jim Jordan, saying, “I say to my colleague, I would be glad to have the person who started it all come in and testify. President Trump is welcome to take a seat right there.”
Throughout the hearing, you might’ve noticed a theme that emerged: Most of the Republicans steered away from questioning the witnesses; rather, they used their time to climb atop their soapboxes to complain about the process, launch conspiracies, and bully the witnesses and their own congressional colleagues with smears and innuendo. Anything but questioning the witnesses themselves.
That leads us to this moment, which really did not get enough attention yesterday. It was this moment when Rep. John Ratcliffe used his time to grandstand. Instead of delivering some big rebuke of the facts or landing a blow against Ambassador Taylor, who is highly respected within U.S. diplomatic services, Ratcliffe ended up scoring on his own team. WATCH:
The look when Ratcliffe realizes what’s he’s said. pic.twitter.com/r3zDFr6dNa
— Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) November 13, 2019
LOL. Did you get a look at his face as he realized what he was saying? It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. And the look on Ambassador Taylor’s face was priceless as he quietly nodded in agreement.