News and Commentary

GONE IN 30 SECONDS: GOP Rep Takes Down Dem Witness In Record Time
Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch describes color draining from her face during testimony for the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. on November 15, 2019.
Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Rep. Chris Stewart was skeptical as former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Friday.

Then the Utah Republican got his own chance to question her.

“I would now feel compelled to ask you, Madam Ambassador, as you sit here before us, very simply and directly, do you have any information regarding the president of the United States accepting any bribes?” Stewart asked, according to Fox News.

“No,” Yovanovitch said.

“Do you have any information regarding any criminal activity that the president of the United States has been involved with at all?” Stewart asked.

“No,” Yovanovitch said.

Then Stewart summed up the Democrats’ effort to impeach President Trump.

“The American people know this is nonsense,” he said. “The American people know this is unfair.”

The White House highlighted the exchange, noting that Stewart had cut to the chase in record time.

“In 30 seconds,” a White House message on Twitter read, “@RepChrisStewart got the answers that House democrats have spent 7 hours trying to avoid.

“7 hours that Congress could’ve spent working for you–on drug price legislation, USMCA, immigration reform, or infrastructure–instead of for their own political careers.”

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that Democrats had presented “zero evidence.”

“The second public hearing of Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi and Congressman [Adam] Schiff’s impeachment charade was as useless and inconsequential as the first. Zero evidence of any wrongdoing by the President was presented,” she wrote in a statement. “In fact, Ambassador Yovanovitch testified under oath that she was unaware of any criminal activity involving President Trump.”

Yovanovitch testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, but had no firsthand knowledge of Trump. In A July 25 phone call, Trump asked the president of Ukraine for a “favor” by looking into the the origins of the Russia collusion narrative. He also discussed the activities of former vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

“She was not on the July 25 phone call and had no knowledge about the pause on aid to Ukraine. It is difficult to imagine a greater waste of time than today’s hearing, and yet unfortunately, we expect more of the same partisan political theater next week from House Democrats,” Grisham said.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) agreed, saying Democrats have “no case.”

“The Democrats’ second day impeachment witness, Ambassador Yovanovitch, has no information on any of the relevant questions,” Meadows wrote on Twitter. “They have no case. This is not serious.”

He also said Stewart had “summarized this whole hearing.”

Stewart said Americans have little faith in the process.

“I think that public support for impeachment is actually going to be less when these hearings are over than it is when the hearings began, because finally the American people are going to be able to see the evidence and they’re going to be able to make their own determination regarding that,” Stewart said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

“For three years, we’ve heard these outrageous and frankly unbelievable accusations regarding Russian collusion, accusations that we now know are absolute nonsense,” Stewart said.

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