WASHINGTON (KAIT/GRAY DC) - Lawmakers are reacting to the first public impeachment hearings.
The House Intelligence Committee heard the testimonies Wednesday of William Taylor, the acting ambassador to Ukraine and George Kent, the deputy assistant Secretary of State.
The next public hearing will be held Friday. The committee is scheduled to hear from former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Republicans have been criticizing the impeachment proceedings thus far for being kept out of the public eye. A memo by Republican staff of the Intelligence Committee said the closed-door process allowed Chairman Schiff to direct “witnesses called by the Democrats to not answer Republican questions.” Republicans also claimed Chairman Schiff “offered no due process protections for the President.”
Locally, Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said the inquiry hearings have left a lot to be desired.
Crawford, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee but is taking a leave of absence from the committee during the hearings, said he had a message for State Department employees who are unhappy with the President on policy issues.
“If they don’t like the policy, they can resign with their integrity intact. Otherwise, they need to execute the policy as directed. But this move you are seeing just now, it’s just maxed sort of animous toward the President that is geared for a dislike or disdain that is geared for a dislike or disdain that he does business. Not based on any type of illegal standard,” Crawford said.
Hawley told reporters he did not watch Wednesday’s proceeding... noting he was in meetings and also attended two votes in the Senate Wednesday.
However, he did say if a trial is held in the Senate, he will be eager to hear the President’s case.
“The Democrats have wanted to impeach Donald Trump since literally day one since he took his hand off the Bible and they should get on with whatever it is they are going to do and if it comes over here for a trial, then the President is finally going to have his choice to put on witnesses and cross examine witnesses and I look forward to him being able to present his case,” Hawley said.