As House Democrats continue with their impeachment inquiry and now keep moving towards formal articles of impeachment for President Donald Trump, Republicans are getting increasingly desperate. This Monday, in part of a series of increasingly angry in-hearing outbursts, Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee complained that Democratic legal counsel Barry Berke got to question GOP witness Steve Castor after previously appearing as a witness for the committee. Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) denounced each of the flailing Republicans as out of line while they continued to desperately search for some defense against the impeachment case.
At one point, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) interrupted with an alleged point of order and complained:
‘We’ve been told that counsel for the Democrats was a witness, and that’s why he didn’t have to comport with rules of decorum. And now he’s sitting up here — I’ve been a judge and I know that you don’t get to be a witness and a judge in the same case. That’s my point of order. He should not be up here.’
Nadler bluntly replied:
‘That’s not a point of order.’
Louie Gohmert is yelling and Nadler isn’t having it pic.twitter.com/Derch8J4de
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 9, 2019
Indeed — there are a dizzying array of flatly bad faith complaints underlying Gohmert’s outburst. If he’s so concerned about decorum, then perhaps he should get in touch with GOP witness Steve Castor, who brought his materials for the hearing in a reusable shopping bag! Besides — those on the bench delivering the questions are not “judges,” no matter how many complaints about a supposed lack of due process that Trump lodges. Just to be clear, Trump was invited to participate in Judiciary Committee hearings, but he turned that down, which even further undercuts his complaints about process.
Later on, the apparently forever angry Gohmert spoke up again:
‘If you’re going to ignore rules and allow witnesses to ask the questions, then how many other rules are you going to disregard?.. This is not appropriate to have a witness be a questioner… it’s just wrong… How much money do you have to give to get to do that?’
It’s amazing for the GOP to lose their minds over issues like this while refusing to acknowledge any issue with the president demanding that Ukraine investigate his domestic political rivals.
After that outburst, Nadler replied:
‘The gentleman will not cast aspersions on members or staff of the committee.’
After another later rant from Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Nadler noted the rules of the House resolution approving impeachment procedures as the basis for allowing Berke to continue questions. In response to other complaints about Berke’s supposed tough questions, Nadler noted that “sharp cross-examination of a witness is not badgering the witness.”
For his part, Trump has resorted most recently to displays like retweeting an image of his face photoshopped onto the body of Rocky from the movies of the same name. He has nothing to offer in defense other than these spectacles. This past weekend, Nadler said that his committee could consider the articles of impeachment as early as this week. Their approval would be the last step before a full House vote.