WASHINGTON (Gray DC) — Lawmakers are reacting to the first public impeachment hearings.
Top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor, right, and career Foreign Service officer George Kent, arrive to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, during the first public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
The House Intelligence Committee heard the testimonies Wednesday of William Taylor, the acting ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant Secretary of State.
The next public hearing will be held Friday. The committee is scheduled to hear from former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Republicans have been criticizing the impeachment proceedings thus far for being kept out of the public eye. A memo by Republican staff of the Intelligence Committee said the closed-door process allowed Chairman Schiff to direct "witnesses called by the Democrats to not answer Republican questions." Republicans also claimed Chairman Schiff "offered no due process protections for the President."
The Gray DC team caught up with lawmakers from across the country to hear their thoughts on the now-public proceedings, include Rep. Ben Cline, who covers much of the Shenandoah Valley in the House of Representatives.
You can watch his interview above. Transcripts of several of his responses can be found below:
"It's very frustrating that Judiciary, being the committee of jurisdiction, is not running the show here. Instead, Nancy Pelosi has given it to her California friend, Adam Schiff, to run, and he's done a terrible job. It's just really screwed up the entire process."
"I think Americans are concerned about Congress getting on with the issues that are important to the public, issues like trade agreements that need to be approved, the infrastructure bills that need to be approved, securing our borders, that needs to get done, and balancing the budget and actually getting a budget for the next year. These are all things that the public wants Congress to do and Congress has been so focused on impeachment that none of it's gotten done."
"It's all a lot of what we call hearsay, which is telephone tag, where 'he said that she said that he said that he saw something else,' and that's never used in a criminal court to convict. I don't know how much more there'll be, but we haven't seen a lot of concrete evidence at this point."
"They're going to try and rush this through judiciary in two weeks. I don't think we should let them. I think that, if anything, we should stop the train and look at what a farce of a process this has been up to this point. The public wants to move on, and I hope that we do."
"I'm just anxious to move on to the issues that folks are concerned about, I-81 and infrastructure funding, getting a immigration bill that will secure our borders, and making sure that we tackle trade and help our farmers through passage of the USMCA. These are the things that my constituents tell me every day that they want done, and these are the issues that I'm fighting to get done here in Congress."
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