Fireworks kick off impeachment hearing as Gaetz explodes at Nadler’s belligerence

The House Judiciary Committee kicked off its latest impeachment hearing with heated exchanges as Chairman Jerrold Nadler locked horns with several GOP congressmen.

The New York Democrat repeatedly banged his gavel and attempted to shut down Republicans who pressed for him to recognize their points and a point or order in the hearing’s proceedings, with a final eruption between Nadler and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.

(Video: C-SPAN)

Rep. Andy Biggs challenged Nadler on House rules, noting that he had not allowed Republicans to have a minority hearing day, and was joined by Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia in pressing Nadler on the point of order.

“I insist on my point of order unless are you willing to schedule a minority hearing date,” the Arizona Republican said, noting his “blatant and egregious violation” of the rules to schedule that hearing.

“That is not a proper point of order in today’s hearing. As I have told the ranking member several times now,” Nadler responded.

Collins joined in to back the point of order as Nadler continued to shut them down in an attempt to push through the hearing. Gaetz soon joined the ranking Republican in confronting the Judiciary chairman.

“I have a parliamentary inquiry,” Gaetz said as Nadler tried to move on and introduce the first witness.

(Video: CNN)

“I will not recognize a parliamentary inquiry at this time,” he replied.

“Is this when we just hear staff ask questions of other staff?” Gaetz shot back.

“The members get dealt out of this whole hearing for the next four hours!” he shouted. “You’re going to try to overturn the result of an election with unelected people.”

“The gentleman will suspend,” Nadler responded, repeatedly using his gavel to get the Florida lawmaker to be quiet.  “This hearing will be considered in an orderly fashion, the gentleman will not yell out, and he will not attempt to disrupt the proceedings.”

Rep. Steve Scalise found the exchange “unbelievable.”

“Unelected people directed by Dems are working to overturn an election,” he tweeted along with a video clip from the hearing.

Just as the chairman finished setting up the next part of the hearing, giving witnesses their directions, he was challenged by Collins who reminded him that he did not withdraw his earlier objection. Collins insisted he be heard in his objection to Nadler’s opening statement.

When the Democrat refused to recognize the Georgia lawmaker, Collins remarked, “the steamroll continues.”


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