Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe is getting a fair share of mocking online after asking impeachment hearing witnesses what President Donald Trump has done that is impeachable – then stopping one of the witnesses who tried to respond.
The Texas Congressman, apparently unhappy that his question was about to get some form of response – or, at least, pushback, from Ambassador Bill Taylor, appeared nervous, yelled over Taylor, stopped the diplomat from answering, then went so far as to withdraw his question when Taylor tried to answer.
“Where is the impeachable offense in that call?” Ratcliffe asked, referring to Trump’s infamous July 25 call with the president of Ukraine.
“Are either of you here today to assert there was an impeachable offense on that call? Shout it out!” Ratcliffe said, sarcastically, demanding an answer from either of the witnesses. “Anyone?”
Frustrated, Ratcliffe – who Trump once tried to nominate to be Director of National Intelligence, but isn’t qualified and his resume had been “exaggerated” – looked down at his notes.
“Mr. Ratcliffe, if I could just respond,” Ambassador Taylor said, attempting to answer. “If I could just reiterate –”
“I’ve got one minute left,” Ratcliffe interjected.
“I know you’ve only got a minute left,” Ambassador Taylor, who has proven to be nearly stoic and a straight shooter, said, somewhat frustrated.
Chairman Adam Schiff then intervened: “You asked the witness a question, the witness will –”
“I withdraw the question!” Rep. Ratcliffe declared, interrupting both Chairman Schiff and Ambassador Taylor.
Ratcliffe then demanded the clock get suspended – stopped – saying, “I withdrew the question” as Schiff took control.
Taylor finally got to answer: “I’m not here to decide anything about impeachment,” he announced, rightfully. “This is your job.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 13, 2019
Ratcliffe tries to get Schiff to reset the clock at 1:00 as his time dwindles down to 22 seconds. Ratcliffe withdraws question. Ratcliffe tries to get clock reset like they do in football after a penalty. Schiff tells him “no.” Says he has “22 seconds.” Laughter in audience
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) November 13, 2019
Here’s how some are responding:
sign of how unserious GOP approach is: Ratcliffe actually withdraws a question so that he can keep talking rather have Taylor answer it
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) November 13, 2019
Rep. John Ratcliffe is literally shouting over and, perhaps at, William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine.
This is pretty remarkable given that Taylor has said over and over again that he doesn’t want to take one political party’s side over another.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 13, 2019
Ratcliffe: I am going to ask you something offensive and stupid
Ratcliffe: Oh, I withdraw the question, I just wanted the rubes back home to hear it
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) November 13, 2019
RATCLIFFE: “where is the impeachable offense?”
[.3 seconds later]
RATCLIFFE: “OMG I withdraw my question, OMG OMG OMG DO NOT ANAWER THAT”
— Treason Stickers (@treasonstickers) November 13, 2019
John Ratcliffe now screaming at fact witnesses SHOW ME THE IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE!
Taylor is like, dude I’m not a juror.
— Jesse Lehrich (@JesseLehrich) November 13, 2019
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