California Congressman Devin Nunes held nothing back when speaking at the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday.
The Republican lawmaker called out the impeachment inquiry for what it is — political theater. He even at one point congratulated the “witnesses” called to testify for “passing the Democrats’ star chamber auditions held for the last week in the basement of the Capitol.”
“It seems you agreed, wittingly or unwittingly, to participate in a drama,” Nunes said – while sitting next to Adam Schiff – to William B. Taylor Jr., the top diplomat in Ukraine, and George P. Kent, a senior State Department official.
“But the main performance, the Russia hoax, has ended and you have been cast in the low-rent Ukrainian sequel,” Nunes continued.
You can check out Nunes’ opening statement below. The section where he directly addresses Taylor and Kent starts at about 6:35:
Nunes went on to note the “immense damage” Democrats’ “scorched Earth” mission to take down President Donald Trump has done to “Americans’ faith in government.”
Nunes concluded that the “bureaucracy” running D.C. was only angry that Trump dared to “express skepticism about foreign aid and concern about foreign corruption.” To punish the president, Democrats then used “second-hand, third-hand and even fourth-hand rumors and innuendo” to go after him.
Nunes also rightly noted that the quid pro quo Democrats keep going on about holds no water since Ukraine got the aid in question and nothing was held back by the administration.
“By undermining the president, who they are supposed to be serving, the elements of the FBI, the Department of Justice and now the State Department have lost the confidence of millions of Americans who believe that their vote should count for something,” Nunes said. “It will take years, if not decades, to restore faith in these institutions.”
“[This] is nothing more than an impeachment process in search of a crime,” he added.
At the top of his introductory comments, Nunes more specifically targeted Democrats and Schiff’s behavior thus far in the impeachment inquiry, noting that most of the Republicans’ requested witnesses were denied, testimony was conducted in secret and Schiff specifically lied about the actual content of the transcript from the phone call between Trump and the Ukraine president.
In a moment that no doubt made a few people uncomfortable, Nunes also brought up the embarrassing allegation that Democrats sought nude photos of the president after falling victim to a scam.
“We should also forget about them trying to obtain nude pictures of Trump from Russian pranksters who pretended to be Ukrainian officials,” Nunes said.
The comment was in reference to an incident where Schiff allegedly tried to get “compromising material” on the president in a phone call with Russian deejays who were pretending to be Ukrainian officials. The deejays said they had “pictures of naked Trump.” An ethics complaint has been filed against Schiff over the incident.
“I’ll be in touch with the FBI about this,” Schiff reportedly said on the phone call. “And we’ll make arrangements with your staff. I think it probably would be best to provide these materials both to our committee and to the FBI.”
Schiff’s office claims they suspected the call was fake and reported it to the proper authorities, but this is coming from the same guy who alleges he doesn’t know who the whistleblower is despite reports he was in contact with said whistleblower before the Ukraine phone call complaint was ever filed.
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