White House criticizes legal expert for ‘classless move’
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham lashed out against Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan for making a pun out of Barron Trump’s name during today’s impeachment hearing.
Grisham accused Karlan of disrepecting the first son’s privacy by making his name a punchline. “What is being done to this country is no laughing matter,” Grisham said.
It’s important to note Karlan was not at all mocking Barron Trump himself. She used his name to make a light-hearted joke about how presidents cannot distribute titles of nobility. “The president can name his son Barron, but he can’t make him a baron,” Karlan said, prompting some laughter in the hearing room.
Republican congressman presses Graham to request phone records from Schiff and Biden
Meanwhile, as the House judiciary committee’s impeachment hearing continues, a Republican congressman is pressing Senate judiciary committee chairman Lindsey Graham to subpoena the phone records of Adam Schiff and Joe Biden, among others.
The request comes after the release of the House intelligence committee’s report on the impeachment inquiry, which included call records from Rudy Giuliani and one of his former associates, Lev Parnas.
The records showed Giuliani in contact with Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House intelligence committee, and an official at the office of management and budget as the president’s personal lawyer started peddling baseless corruption allegations againt Biden.
Republican congressman Jim Jordan, who also participated in the House intelligence committee hearings, complained that Democrats were overseeing a “pre-determined impeachment.”
Like the previous two Republican members, Jordan did not pose a single question to today’s witnesses during his five-minute round of questioning, instead choosing to simply criticize the inquiry writ large.
Republican congressman Louie Gohmert used his five minutes of questioning to criticize the process of the impeachment inquiry and demand that other witnesses linked to Joe Biden be made to testify, which has 0% chance of approval by the panel’s Democratic majority.
Republican congressman Steve Chabot just completed his five-minute round of questioning — which he used to deliver a diatribe against chairman Jerry Nadler without posing a single question to today’s witnesses.
Chabot accused Nadler of reversing himself from his comments about impeachment during Bill Clinton’s presidency and argued the inquiry was preventing the panel from addressing other matters.
Those talking points echo comments from Trump, who has accused the “do nothing Democrats” of neglecting their constituents’ needs.
Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan has just delivered another line that is sure to be replayed many times after today’s impeachment hearing.
Responding to questions from Democratic congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Karlan was arguing that the Constitution makes a point to distinguish between the powers of the president and the powers of a monarch.
Karlan specifically cited the president’s inability to distribute titles of nobility. “So while the president can name his son Barron, he cannot make him a baron,” Karlan joked.
The first Republican questioner after the recess was Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who was an impeachment manager during Bill Clinton’s presidency.
Sensenbrenner used the first four minutes of his questioning to criticize the impeachment inquiry before posing a single question to Jonathan Turley, the only witness called by Republican members of the panel. Then his time was up.
House judiciary committee reconvenes impeachment hearing
Chairman Jerry Nadler has once again gaveled in the first public impeachment hearing conducted by his panel, the House judiciary committee.
The panel will continue with five-minute rounds of questions from the members of the committee, which could take another three hours or so. For reference, this hearing began almost five hours ago.
Democrats on the House judiciary committee have been told to stay in Washington this weekend so the panel can complete work related to the impeachment inquiry.
It’s unclear what work chairman Jerry Nadler hopes for the members to complete, but it could include mock hearings regarding the Huse intelligence committee’s newly released report on the impeachment inquiry.
The Senate has released its calendar for 2020, but the chamber has left the month of January blank in case the House passes articles of impeachment and a trial needs to be held on whether to remove Trump from office.
If the House passes articles of impeachment later this month, as it is widely expected to do, the Senate would likely take up the charges in January. Unless two-thirds of senators rule against the persident, which is highly improbable, Trump will be acquitted and remain in office.
Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general under Barack Obama, accused Republicans on the House judiciary committee of misrepresenting his words by only quoting a portion of his comments about Hunter Biden in his book “Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump.”
In the book, Katyal makes a point to emphasize that while Biden’s conduct was not right, it also wasn’t illegal — as the business dealings of Trump’s family while he is in office are not illegal.
The House judiciary committee is not likely to reconvene for another 30 minutes, which could mean the impeachment hearing will not conclude for another four hours or so.
Impeachment hearing briefly recesses for House votes
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren opened her questioning of today’s witnesses by noting that she has been present for all three modern impeachments — as a staffer during Richard Nixon’s impeachment and as a lawmaker during Bill Clinton’s.
After Lofgren had concluded her questioning, chairman Jerry Nadler recessed the hearing for members to go vote on the House floor. Dozens of committee members still need to have the chance to question the witnesses, so we will be here for a while.
The House judiciary committee’s impeachment hearing has moved on to five-minute rounds of questioning from each member, which could run more than three hours long if everyone uses up their full time.