The top Democratic leaders responded to the first day of House public impeachment hearings by defending their witnesses and attacking President Trump.
Wednesday’s start of public impeachment hearings in Congress focused on the first public witnesses, George Kent and William Taylor.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.,) praised Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) for “getting to the heart of the issue,” and complained about the “pressure campaign” of the Republicans on the witnesses.
.@RepValDemings gets to the heart of the issue: the President placed his own political interests above our national interests, our national security, and our Constitution. The witnesses today saw the pressure campaign up close, and they had no doubt. #DefendOurDemocracy https://t.co/Rp8uq6knCT
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) November 13, 2019
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) concluded after the hearing, “The new revelations show exactly why the investigation must continue unimpeded so all the facts come out.”
With the impeachment hearing on President Trump today [Nov. 13] in the House:
The new revelations show exactly why the investigation must continue unimpeded so all the facts come out. pic.twitter.com/NR310WvZFK
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) November 13, 2019
Earlier, the key person of “impeachment show,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.,) tried to defend his star witnesses.
Taylor and Kent are dedicated public servants.
The story they shared is deeply troubling—for our national security, and for the very health of our democracy.
On Friday, we’ll hear from Ambassador Yovanovitch. The American public deserves the full picture of Trump’s misconduct. pic.twitter.com/qJF5JohiBm
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) November 13, 2019
Republicans dismissed the testimony of the witnesses as mere “hearsay.” They said the witnesses didn’t provide firsthand knowledge of suspected back-door dealings on Ukraine and did not speak directly with President Trump.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) suggested that Taylor’s understanding was basically a bad game of telephone, in which one person tells a second person something and that second person tells a third person, and so on.
“We’ve got six people having four conversations in one sentence, and this is where you told me you got your clear understanding,” Jordan said.
— Rep. Ralph Norman (@RepRalphNorman) November 13, 2019
Meanwhile, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), noted, “We learned nothing new today and the facts remain the same.”
We learned nothing new today and the facts remain the same:
1. There was no pressure on President Zelenskiy
2. There was no investigation
3. Ukraine received the aid
4. Ukraine is better equipped to defend itself under Pres. Trump than Pres. Obama pic.twitter.com/BwrdXtbUBY
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) November 14, 2019
House Foreign Affairs GOP criticized the absolute hearsay of witness Taylor:
Ambassador Taylor referred to second or third hand information 17 times in his opening statement today. Not a single word of his 20 page testimony was based on firsthand information– it was solely hearsay. pic.twitter.com/RDVm8wFPX6
— House Foreign Affairs GOP (@HouseForeignGOP) November 13, 2019