Reporters covering the House impeachment inquiry were mystified after most of the Republican lawmakers left the room during EU ambassador Gordon Sondland’s testimony.
Sondland directly implicated President Donald Trump, as well as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in the scheme to withhold military aid from Ukraine until its president agreed to announce an investigation of Joe Biden.
Almost all of the GOP minority on the House Intelligence Committee left the hearing room as each party’s counsel questioned Sondland in 45-minute sessions.
“Unusual that most Rs left room during this round of Dem questions,” tweeted John Parkison, of ABC News. “Only Jordan, Ratcliffe with GOP counsel Steve Castor – and now Nunes returns to dais. No lawmakers seated in viewing area either.”
Unusual that most Rs left room during this round of Dem questions. Only Jordan, Ratcliffe with GOP counsel Steve Castor – and now Nunes returns to dais. No lawmakers seated in viewing area either. pic.twitter.com/q0yzALRcFf
— John R Parkinson (@jparkABC) November 20, 2019
The Republican minority appeared to be caught off guard by Sondland’s decision to turn on senior administration officials.
“Sondland’s testimony appears to have deflated Republicans,” said Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. “The GOP members’ cheering squad has left the room.”
Sondland’s testimony appears to have deflated Republicans. The GOP members’ cheering squad has left the room. pic.twitter.com/ojKOFDwnKy
— Dana Milbank (@Milbank) November 20, 2019
Republicans appear to have left the room to figure out what the hell they’re supposed to do next, since we’re in another 45/45 round of questioning, only @DevinNunes and counsel Steve Castor will be able to question Sondland. pic.twitter.com/W4tqFBfZen
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) November 20, 2019
Castor and Jordan have spent a lot of this hearing with their heads down; it looks like Castor is marking something up. Meanwhile almost all the other Republicans on the committee have left the room pic.twitter.com/FcfClnN4Ck
— Tierney Sneed (@Tierney_Megan) November 20, 2019
Lot of empty seats on side of House Intel Republicans in this Sondland hearing.
Reps. Nunes, Jordan and Ratcliffe are only members left. pic.twitter.com/K68OBxVvZY
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) November 20, 2019
UK’s Boris Johnson looks set for big win in ‘Brexit election’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's ruling party appeared on course for a sweeping victory in Thursday's snap election, an exit poll showed, paving the way for Britain to leave the EU next month after years of political deadlock.
The Conservatives were forecast to win a thumping 368 out of 650 seats in parliament -- which if confirmed would be the party's biggest majority in three decades -- according to the survey published as polls closed.
The pound jumped by about two percent against the dollar on the projected results of what all sides had painted as the most momentous election in Britain in a generation.
Maddow reports on ‘a tide of major newspaper editorials’ drowning Trump’s impeachment defenses
On Thursday, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow noted the sheer volume of editorial boards from newspapers across America calling for President Donald Trump's impeachment and removal from office.
"The editorials that Steve Cohen introduced into the record there that Doug Collins from Georgia said he wanted to read and Steve Cohen said 'I'd love for you to read them,' they're part of a tide of major newspaper editorials that have come out all of a sudden in the last few days in favor of impeachment," said Maddow. "USA TODAY's editorial board saying, quote, 'Until recently we believed impeachment proceedings would be unhealthy for an already polarized nation, rather than simply leaving Trump's fate up to voters next November. But Trump's egregious transgressions and stonewalling in his thuggish effort to trade American arms for foreign dirt on Joe Biden resembled Richard Nixon. It's precisely the type of misconduct the framers had in mind when they wrote impeachment into the Constitution."
‘People died in Ukraine’: Democrat lectures Doug Collins for Trump’s abuse of power costing lives
During Thursday's impeachment hearing, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) laid bare the human cost of President Donald Trump's decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine to force them to hunt for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden's family — something that ranking member Doug Collins (R-GA) spent the previous day denying.
"In my colleague's efforts to defend this president, you want him to be someone he's not. You want him to be someone he is telling you he is not," said Swalwell. "You're trying to defend the call in so many different ways, and he's saying, guys, it was a perfect call. He's not who you want him to be. And let me tell you how selfish his acts were. And ranking member Collins, you can deny this as much as you want. People died in Ukraine at the hands of Russia," said Swalwell. "In Ukraine, since September 2018 when it was voted on by Congress, was counting on our support. One year passed and people died. And you may not want to think about that, it may be hard for you to think about that, but they died when the selfish, selfish president withheld the aid for his own personal gain."