The House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment inquiry hearing became a sham testimony on Wednesday, Dec. 4, as none of the Democrats’ witnesses dared to raise their hands after a Republican lawmaker asked them to do so if they had personal knowledge of a single fact in Adam Schiff’s impeachment report.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), a GOP member of House Judiciary Committee, grilled three of the four witnesses called by the Democrats to the hearing about their past support for Democratic candidates and their past writings and statements about President Donald Trump and the standards by which he might be impeached, RealClear Politics reported.
When Gaetz requested the witnesses raise their hands if they had direct fact knowledge of anything in the Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s impeachment report, no one did.
“Let’s see if we can get into the facts. To all of the witnesses. If you have personal knowledge of a single material fact in the Schiff report, please raise your hand,” Gaetz asked.
As the witnesses sat in silence, then the Republican lawmaker continued, “And let the record reflect no personal knowledge of a single fact.”
“That continues on the tradition we saw from Adam Schiff. Ambassador Taylor could not identify an impeachable offense; Mr. Kent never met with the president; Fiona Hill never heard the president reference anything regarding military aid; Mr. Hale was unaware of any activity with aid; Col. Vindman rejected the talking point that bribery was invoked here; Ambassador Volker denied there was a quid pro quo, and Mr. Morrison said there wasn’t anything on the call,” Gaetz added.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) used Gaetz’s remarks to mock the Democrat-led hearing, saying, “Why are we wasting time on liberal professors who have no firsthand knowledge of this case?”
🚨 BREAKING: @RepMattGaetz asked the witnesses in today’s sham hearing to raise their hands if they have personal knowledge of a single fact in Schiff’s report.
No one raised their hand.
Why are we wasting time on liberal professors who have no firsthand knowledge of this case? pic.twitter.com/vQ9Ll9jqYP
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) December 4, 2019
Gaetz was ripping into the impeachment witnesses when he began his allotted five minutes of question time.
Read the transcript of the impeachment hearing below:
REP. MATT GAETZ: Thank you Mr. Chairman. Mr. Feldman wrote articles titled “Trump’s ‘Wiretap’ Tweets Raise Risk Of Impeachment.” He then wrote: “Mar-a-Lago Ad Belongs In Impeachment File” and then Mr. Jake Flanagan wrote in Quartz: “A Harvard Law Professor Thinks Trump Could Be Impeached Over ‘Fake News’ Accusations.”
My question, professor Feldman, is since you seem to believe that the basis for impeachment is even broader than the basis that my Democratic colleagues laid forward, do you believe you’re outside of the political mainstream on the question of impeachment?
NOAH FELDMAN: I believe that impeachment is warranted whenever the president abuses his power for personal benefit or to corrupt the Democratic process.
MATT GAETZ: Did you write an article titled, “It’s Hard To Take Impeachment Seriously Now”?
NOAH FELDMAN: Yes, I did that back in May of 2019.
MATT GAETZ: Did you write, “Since then the 2018 midterm election, House Democrats have made it painfully clear that discussing impeachment is primarily or even exclusively a tool to weaken President Trump’s chances in 2020.” Did you write those words?
NOAH FELDMAN: Until this call on July 25th, I was an impeachment skeptic. The call changed my mind and for good reason.
MATT GAETZ: Thank you. I appreciate your testimony.
MATT GAETZ: Professor Pamela Karlan, you gave $1,000 to Elizabeth Warren, right.
PAMELA KARLAN: I believe so.
MATT GAETZ: You gave $1,200 bucks to Barack Obama.
PAMELA KARLAN: I have no reason to question that.
MATT GAETZ: And you gave $2,000 to Hillary Clinton.
PAMELA KARLAN: That’s correct.
MATT GAETZ: Why so much more for Hillary than the other two?
PAMELA KARLAN: Because I have been giving a lot of money to charity recently because of all the poor people in the United States.
MATT GAETZ: Those aren’t the only folks you have been giving to. Have you ever been on a podcast called “Versus Trump”?
PAMELA KARLAN: I think I was on a live panel that the people who ran the podcast called “Versus Trump.”
MATT GAETZ: On that do you remember saying the following? “Liberals tend to cluster more. Conservatives, especially very conservative people tend to spread out more, perhaps because they don’t even want to be around themselves.” Did you say that?
PAMELA KARLAN: Yes, I did.
MATT GAETZ: Do you understand how that reflects contempt on people who are conservative?
PAMELA KARLAN: No, what I was talking about there was the natural tendency, if you put the quote in context, the natural tendency of a compactness requirement to favor a party whose voters are spread out. I do not have contempt for conservatives.
MATT GAETZ: I have limited time professor, so I just have to say, when you talk about how liberals want to be around each other and cluster and conservatives don’t want to be around each other and have to spread out, you may not see this from the ivory towers of your law school but it makes actual people in this country — excuse me, you don’t get to interrupt me on this time.
Now let me also suggest that when you invoke the president’s son’s name here. When you try to make a little joke out of referencing Barron Trump, that does not lend credibility to your argument. It makes you look mean and like you’re attacking someone’s family, the minor child of the president of the United States.
So let’s see if we can get into the facts. To all of the witnesses. If you have personal knowledge of a single material fact in the Schiff report, please raise your hand. And let the record reflect no personal knowledge of a single fact, and you know what, that continues on the tradition we saw from Adam Schiff. Ambassador Taylor could not identify an impeachable offense. Mr. Kent never met with the president. Fiona Hill never heard the president reference anything regarding military aid. Mr. Hale was unaware of any activity with aid. Col. Vindman rejected the talking point that ribery was invoked here. Ambassador Volker denied there was a quid pro quo and Mr. Morrison said there wasn’t anything on the call.
The only direct evidence was Mr. Sondland, who spoke to the president and the president said, “I want nothing, no quid pro quo.” And you know what, if wiretapping a political opponent is an impeachable offense, I look forward to the Inspector General’s report, and maybe it’s a different president we should be impeaching.