Watch yet another House GOP hearing go totally off the rails

A House Oversight Committee hearing into China’s “political warfare” against the United States went off the rails Wednesday when Republican Rep. James Comer interrupted Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin to push attacks on President Joe Biden and his family.

Raskin was using his allotted time to point out that the “smoking gun” whistleblower who Comer and Rep. Jim Jordan were hanging their entire impeachment case on was in fact a Russian mole.  

“That's just simply not true,” Comer interrupted. “But go ahead.”

It is true and the two did go ahead, in an argument that escalated and went on for more than five minutes. 

Of course, Raskin had the benefit of facts and reality on his side. When Comer, who chairs the Oversight Committee, tried to repeat a thoroughly discredited claim that Biden received money from Chinese interests, Raskin reminded him that it was then-President Donald Trump who actually received millions of dollars from China.

Raskin then called Comer’s bluff and asked him to put up or shut up on impeaching Biden, something fellow Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz has previously attempted. That led to this exchange:

Raskin: Where is your impeachment investigation? If Joe Biden took a $9 million bribe from China, why aren't you impeaching him for that?

Comer: Well, who says we're not?

Raskin: I can invite Mr. Moskowitz to come back in. Do you want to move for impeachment today? Because I thought that that was your main agenda item. You said it was the paramount priority of the committee?

Comer: No, this is a hearing on China. And you all have an obsession with Russia and Trump. It's disturbing.

Raskin: We can talk about China and Trump, or Russia and Trump --

Comer: --You need therapy, Mr. Raskin.

Raskin: No, no, you need therapy. You're the one who's involved with the deranged politician, not me. Okay? I've divorced myself from Donald Trump a long time ago. You're the one who needs to disentangle from that situation. 

And I will tell you this: If you believe that it would have been illegal for Joe Biden to take $5 million from Ukraine, it certainly would have been. What do you think about Donald Trump taking more than $5 million from the Chinese government while he was president?

At one point, when Comer claimed that the ongoing GOP investigations into the Biden family didn’t cost many millions of taxpayer dollars, Raskin snarked, "Oh, it's been for free? Okay. All right. Well, you know what, then? We get what we paid for it because you got nothing. You got nothing on Joe Biden."

When Comer tried to continue on with a new speaker and dismiss “Mr. Raskins,” Raskin vociferously demanded his time back—but not before putting Comer’s disrespect on notice:

Let me start with this. My last name is Raskin. Okay? We've sat next to each other for more than a year. You don't have to add the S. Number two, I would like my time restored. Number three, you have not identified a single crime. What is the crime that you want to impeach Joe Biden for and keep this nonsense going? Why? Well, what is the crime? Tell America right now.

You can watch the full exchange in the video below.

Zachary Mueller is the senior research director for America’s Voice and America’s Voice Education Fund. He brings his expertise on immigration politics to talk about how much money the GOP is using to promote its racist immigration campaigns.

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Congressman shreds Trump’s worst ‘ideas’ for border security

The House Homeland Security Committee convened on Tuesday to discuss and vote on two Republican-led articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The Democratic members of the committee decided to take a two-pronged approach to managing today’s proceedings.

First, they pointed out how overtly political this impeachment process has been, and second, Democrats stressed how Republicans spend most of their time and energy complaining about border security while fighting tooth and nail to stop anything from actually being done about border security. That obstructionism includes trying to impeach Mayorkas.

Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia of California used his time to detail how “Donald Trump and House Republicans also have their own ideas for the border” and went on to helpfully list these actual proposed solutions. 

So let's review the majority’s border ideas, that they've actually presented. Here they are:

Donald Trump actually has said that he wants to build alligator moats along the border. That's one of his incredible ideas. 

Another idea that Donald Trump has promoted is he actually wants to electrify the border fence, and maybe even put some spikes on the border. That's another Donald Trump and MAGA-majority border idea. 

Another idea, which I'm not sure how well it would go, is he wants to actually bomb northern Mexico with missiles. That's another Trump idea.

And finally, I think one of the ones that I think is the most grotesque, is suggestions that instead we should maybe just shoot migrants in the legs as they cross the border. So once again, the Donald Trump and MAGA plan is alligator moats, bombing northern Mexico, shooting migrants in the legs, and electrifying the fence, and putting spikes on them. That is the Donald Trump border plan. 

And so again, we are here today with these horrific ideas being presented constantly by the former president. This is all about trying to get Donald Trump reelected. Donald Trump himself is saying he wants no solutions this year out of the Congress. And Secretary Mayorkas and President Biden continue to offer solutions every day and are ready to actually talk about real immigration and border solutions in this country.

The Republican Party has admitted too many times that these committee hearings and impeachment pushes are entirely political maneuvers, fueled by petty revenge and attempted power grabs. These partisan performances have nothing to do with the checks and balances in our Constitution.

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It is primary season, and Donald Trump seems pretty low energy these days. Kerry and Markos talk about the chances of Trump stumbling through the election season and the need to press our advantage and make gains in the House and Senate. Meanwhile, the right-wing media world is losing its collective minds about Taylor Swift registering younger Americans to vote!

Sec. of Homeland Security Mayorkas takes Josh Hawley down hard during contentious hearing

On Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. With recent events in Israel hanging over the proceedings, the annual “Threats to the Homeland” hearing focused on rising antisemitism, along with fears of domestic terrorism.

Because Sen. Josh Hawley and his GOP colleagues use all homeland security hearings to promote Republican xenophobia, he brought up a story that has preoccupied right-wing media, concerning a DHS employee who shared pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel posts on Facebook and Instagram. Hawley demanded to know if the employee in question had been fired, painting it as a pervasive issue within the department. Mayorkas explained there is a proper investigative process and that the employee in question is on administrative leave until the investigation concludes.

Ever the prick, Hawley continued hectoring Mayorkas while not allowing him to respond. Mayorkas appealed to the chair to give his uninterrupted answer, then laid Hawley out for the entire world to see.

Number one, what I found despicable is the implication that this language, tremendously odious, actually could be emblematic of the sentiments of the 260,000 men and women of the Department of Homeland Security. Number one.

Number two, Senator Hawley takes an adversarial approach to me in this question, and perhaps he doesn't know my own background. Perhaps he does not know that I am the child of a Holocaust survivor. Perhaps he does not know that my mother lost almost all her family at the hands of the Nazis. And so I find his adversarial tone to be entirely misplaced. I find it to be disrespectful of me and my heritage, and I do not expect an apology. But I did want to say what I just articulated. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mayorkas has been a target of extremist conservatives for some time, who have tried to scapegoat him as part of their war on immigrants. Mayorkas, the first Latino and immigrant to helm the Department of Homeland Security, has had the gall to be ever-so-slightly more humane in his treatment of asylum-seekers than the previous administration, and as a result has received a lot of right-wing hatred and racism.

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FEMA director-turned-congressman sums up GOP’s day: ‘I know a disaster when I see one’

On Thursday, after Democratic Reps. Jamie Raskin and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez deconstructed the through-the-looking-glass nature of the Republican impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, fellow Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz of Florida got his five minutes. Wasting no time, Moskowitz brought some real entertainment to the proceedings.

After Oversight Chairman James Comer, a Republican, told Moskowitz it was his “lucky day” to have this time, Moskowitz replied, “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think it's your lucky day.” Smiling and looking at the underwhelming Republican witnesses, Moskowitz quipped, “What a day we are having here, isn't it? I mean, listen, as a former director of emergency management, I know a disaster when I see one.”

Kapow. Moskowitz went on, saying you didn’t have to take his word for it, and then mentioned the reaction of conservative strategist and convicted criminal Steve Bannon. Bannon, Moskowitz said, was angry that conservative legal scholar Jonathan Turley was one of the first Republican witnesses, after Turley testified that nothing the Republican Party has uncovered so far rises to the level of impeachment. Moskowitz turned to the Republicans on the committee and said, “Boy, that is awkward. I mean, look, it's like political impeachment malpractice.”

And Moskowitz was just getting started.

RELATED STORY: Live coverage: Republican impeachment inquiry (Part 2)

From there, Moskowitz proceeded with slides. First, he mentioned that Fox News asked Comer if he could make a solid allegation of bribery against Joe Biden, to which Comer responded, “I hope so.” Moskowitz then brought up Sen. Chuck Grassley’s strange admission (on television, no less): "We [Republicans] are not interested in whether the allegations against Vice President Biden are accurate or not.”

After that, Moskowitz really let loose, and it’s worth quoting at length:

We're all appearing now in the world's worst-acted TV drama, right? It's been picked up for a second season. ‘The Real House Republicans of Oversight.’ You know, perhaps the material is so bad due to the writers' strike. I mean, how many Republicans, Freedom Caucus members, part of the chaos caucus, have said there's no evidence to impeach Joe Biden?

And again, of course, we know it's not about the evidence. Why? Here is a list of all of the articles of impeachment that have been filed by my colleagues, some that are on this committee. When was the first article filed? It was filed in January of ‘21, two weeks after Jan. 6th. So before we had a single hearing, before they went through this myriad of fishing, they were filing articles of impeachment.

Professor Turley, you said this doesn't rise to the level of impeachment and you said they shouldn't prejudge. Well, here’s a list right here of every single member, many on this committee, prejudging. They're filing articles of impeachment: COVID, Afghanistan, Hunter Biden. And they're all one-upping each other in the Donald Trump-friend-Olympics, trying to get invited to the sleepover at Mar-a-Lago. ‘I filed articles of impeachment against Merrick Garland. No, I filed articles of impeachment against Kamala Harris.’ Okay.

It is ridiculous. But this is what this is about. Let me show you. It's a simple board, right? So all other presidents in the United States, 50% of the impeachments, Donald Trump … Donald Trump has half of the impeachments in American history. But you know what? He's got 100% of the indictments, 100% of all indictments. Zero for the other presidents. Listen, let me do it another way. I want to channel my inner Tim Russert. So let me go to the board. Right? And I don't have Florida, but Donald Trump impeachments—oh, how many impeachments we got? How many indictments we got? Four. How many for Biden? Zero, zero.

Donald Trump is right. He's sick of winning. He's just winning, running away with it. And that's why we're here. We're here because of math. That's what this is about. They can't save Donald Trump. They can't take away the two impeachments and the four indictments. But they can try to put some numbers on the board for Joe Biden.

But the problem is, when you sling mud, you’ve got to have mud. And they just don't have anything, Mr. Chairman. So, look, we get it. We know why we're here. That's why they say ‘the Biden family,’ ‘the Bidens,’ ‘James Biden,’ Joe Biden's dog Commander’—but not ‘Joe Biden.’ Never Joe Biden. So when are you going to have the vote on impeachment, Mr. Chairman?

What are you scared of? Call the vote. Come on. If you all think there's so much evidence, we're here. Call the vote on impeachment. Impeach him right now! I dare you!

Oh boy, he got a lot with his five minutes. 

Enough with the weak leadership and MAGA circus. Sign the petition: Hakeem Jeffries for Speaker!


Watch Jamie Raskin shred the 'flying monkeys' running the impeachment inquiry

Watch AOC perfectly get to the point in sham impeachment hearing

Republicans’ baseless impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden began on Thursday. Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin leveled the room with his opening statement as he pointed out the circus Republicans were conducting. He was followed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who blew apart the lies and exposed the witnesses for their complete evidentiary irrelevance.

Ocasio-Cortez started her five minutes by asking the three witnesses whether their testimonies included “any firsthand witness account of crimes committed” by President Joe Biden. All three answered that they had no such accounts. In contrast, there were two witnesses with firsthand accounts being blocked by the Republican majority, Ocasio-Cortez said. “And I want to explain why this is important,” she continued. “Members of Congress, all of us in this hearing, are not under oath, as we are presently covered by the speech and debate clause.”

Having explained that it wasn’t illegal for Republicans on the panel to lie or mislead during these hearings, Ocasio-Cortez went on to show how misleading some of the “evidence” Republicans on the committee were presenting was. “Earlier today, one of our colleagues, a gentleman from Florida, presented up on this screen, something that looked—appeared—to be a screenshot of a text message containing or insinuating an explosive allegation,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “That screenshot of what appeared to be a text message was a fabricated image. It was a fabricated image. I don't know where it came from. I don't know if it was the staff of the committee, but it was not the actual direct screenshot from that phone.” She went on to remind the public and those at the hearing that the image presented “excluded critical context that changed the underlying meaning and allegation that was presented up on that screen by this committee and by members of this committee.”

Now that’s evidence of chicanery of the highest order.

RELATED STORY: Live coverage: Republican impeachment inquiry

There is a very good reason the Republicans may have decided not to include witnesses with firsthand knowledge of Hunter Biden and Joe Biden’s relationship to Burisma, like Hunter Biden’s former business partner Devon Archer, who they interviewed behind closed doors. Archer not only contradicted the claims that Joe Biden had anything to do with his son’s business dealings, he also contradicted the theory that the U.S. policy to get rid of a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor helped Biden’s son’s business.

Denounce the baseless impeachment inquiry against President Biden.


Watch Jamie Raskin shred the 'flying monkeys' running the impeachment inquiry

Republican impeachment inquiry gets off to a perfect start

Republicans' star witness contradicts Republican claims

Republican gripes that Merrick Garland didn’t respond to his letter about ‘World Naked Bike Ride’

On Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland was forced to participate in Jim Jordan’s clown show Judiciary Committee hearing. Democratic representatives at the House hearing used their time to righteously lambaste Jordan and his party’s abject hypocrisy. But even the truth could not inure America to the pitiable attempts at “gotcha” questions lobbed by Republicans like Rep. Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin.

Having asked Garland the hard-hitting question, “Do you support more crime?” (Garland said he did not), Tiffany decided to close his sad political performance with a gripe about something dead serious: The World Naked Bike Ride. Did I stutter?

He literally said, “There is a World Naked Bike Ride in Madison, Wisconsin,” and then proceeded to claim he had sent the Department of Justice a letter ”two months ago” concerning reports that a 10-year-old girl might have participated in the naked bike ride through Madison, Wisconsin. “Do you think that’s a problem? And why did you not answer our letter two months ago?”

Garland’s response is perfectly hilarious. “I'm sorry. I'll have to ask the Office of Legislative Affairs to get back to you about this.” Tee-hee.

RELATED STORY: Democrats pummel Republicans at Jim Jordan's circus hearing

Garland subsequently pointed out that what Tiffany was griping about seemed to be an issue for state and local law enforcement—which did investigate and found it was not illegal.

Maybe that’s why Tiffany, who is rumored to desire a shot at becoming one of his state’s two senators, doesn’t even want to vote for himself?

Sign the petition: No to shutdowns, no to Biden impeachment, no to Republicans

Jim Jordan unable to stop Democratic lawmakers from dissecting his farce hearing

America got another chance to watch Rep. Jim Jordan’s circus act he calls a House hearing on Thursday, as he wasted the universe’s time on “weaponization” of the FBI.

To make their case, Republicans invited  three former agents and “self-described FBI whistleblowers” to testify, as well as a lawyer who worked in the Office of the Special Counsel under former president Donald Trump. The three agents have had their security clearances suspended by the FBI because of Jan. 6 conspiracy mongering, and only one of them, former agent Stephen Friend’s previous testimony was available to Democratic lawmakers.Jordan refused to allow Democratic members of the committee to see any of these tales of whistleblowing.

Ranking Democratic committee member Rep. Stacey Plaskett, along with Reps. Dan Goldman, Gerry Connolly, Linda Sanchez, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, proved that brains and not brawn can win the day, successfully exposing what all Jordan-chaired hearings are: Attacks on our democracy and attempts to justify MAGA-world’s crimes and grievances.

RELATED STORY: Tough guy Jim Jordan turns outrage on teachers, unions

The hearing began with Democratic lawmakers pointing out the rules of House committees and how Jordan has not been able to follow a one of them. Plaskett explained in her opening statement, that Democratic members only found out what “witnesses” were going to be at the hearing by way of “British tabloids.”

She very pointedly wondered aloud “Are Republicans scared of giving us the information so that we can do our own due diligence on these conspiracy theories, these ideas they want to put forward.”

Her opening statement: "My colleagues on the far right are on a mission to attack, discredit, and ultimately dismantle the FBI. This is defund the police on steroids." SO FREAKING GOOD @StaceyPlaskett

— Victor Shi (@Victorshi2020) May 18, 2023

Plaskett and Goldman pressed Jordan on whether they would have any access to the information the committee is supposedly “investigating?” Jordan’s dismissiveness came across as particularly cowardly and unreasonable—which it was.

Plaskett asks Jim Jordan why he isn't sharing transcripts of witness testimony with Democrats. Jordan says flatly "right now you're not getting the testimony."

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 18, 2023

Sanchez used her time to remind the public that,“this committee is a vehicle to legitimize the events of January 6 and the people who perpetrated it.”

"I find it incredible that evidence that one side has garnered is not going to be shared with the other side. That's not how committees work." -- Rep. Linda Sanchez

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 18, 2023

Then came Wasserman Schultz and Goldman, both hitting Jordan again for refusing to follow any committee rules and for its brazen stonewalling.

Jim Jordan is making clear that there are no rules other than his whims for this committee

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 18, 2023

Connolly, whose district staff was recently attacked by a man wielding a baseball bat, focused on Republican hypocrisy, wondering where this “concern for protecting whistleblowers was in the Ukraine episode, in that ‘perfect’ phone call Donald Trump had with President Zelenskyy—when Col. [Alexander] Vindman, was in fact subsequently punished for reporting on that phone call which led to the impeachment of the president of the United States.”

Connolly dismissed the so-called whistleblowers’ testimony as nothing more than “employee grievances.”. He concluded, “I'm not quite sure why we had this hearing.” Maybe it was because Kash Patel, the former Trump administration official and insurrection adviser, was financing two of them, as Goldman got them to admit.

Finally, Plaskett summed up exactly what we are seeing from Jordan’s circus sideshow—a misinformation campaign against the truth and, therefore, our democracy:

Tough guy Jim Jordan turns outrage on teachers, unions

On Wednesday, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, where the odious Rep. Jim Jordan tried to grill her on school closures during COVID and “culture wars.” To no one’s surprise, his effort was a flop.

According to the subcommittee’s Republican chairman, Rep. Brad Wenstrup of Ohio, the committee’s job is to investigate “the decision-making process behind school closures [during the COVID-19 pandemic] and the effects it had so that we can do better in the future.” 

Weingarten was brought in by Republicans because the conservative movement in our country wants the trials and tribulations we all dealt with during the pandemic—in this case, school closures—to be blamed on workers in all sectors of society, especially teachers and school staff.

Like most Republican-led committee meetings, this one was part circus, part conspiracy theory, and all useless. Committee hearings under Republican leaders are a cauldron of hypocrisies—too many to enumerate here. This committee could have made an effort to actually find out how school closures impacted students and educators. But instead, the general tenor of the Republicans’ questions for Weingarten was “unions and labor rights are bad.” After enduring some new lows from moral sewer-dweller Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who used her time to attack adoptive parents (including Weingarten herself), Weingarten had to answer a series of Jordan’s “gotcha” questions.

RELATED STORY: Marjorie Taylor Greene finally shuts up. It wasn't her decision

While Greene’s attacks on Weingarten were clearly personal, Jordan’s low-level interrogation was an attempt to paint Weingarten as a left-wing radical culture warrior for the implied crime of closing schools during a lethal pandemic. There are very few people who are less smart than Jordan, and Weingarten ain’t one of them, so Jordan’s plans blew up in his face.

Jordan, no stranger to wasting breath, began his interrogation by asking Weingarten, “Who cares more about a child's education, the teacher's union, or the child's parents?”

Weingarten replied that both parents and teachers care about children, and that obviously no one cares for individual children more than their parents. It’s hard to know what response Jordan thought he was going to get, but he evidently didn’t get the one he wanted—so he asked the question again. Weingarten easily circumvented Jordan’s sophomoric line of questioning, saying, “Look, I'm not here to be in a competition. Parents are so important in children's lives. Teachers are so important in children's lives, too.”

Jordan, whose cross-examination style might be a result of watching too many “L.A. Law” episodes, asked Weingarten, “Who are the ‘extremist politicians’?” The attempt to put Weingarten on her heels by employing a non sequitur failed miserably. Jordan read  Weingarten’s writing aloud on the matter of school safety during the pandemic, where she asserted that “attacks by extremist politicians have undermined teachers in schools.” That led to this amazing exchange:

REP. JIM JORDAN: Well, who are the extremist politicians?

RANDI WEINGARTEN: I think you just heard one, sir.

JORDAN: So Ms. Greene’s one of them.

Indeed. Weingarten pivoted to explaining how the conservative preoccupation with “culture wars” is anti-educational, then implied that book banning is a tell-tale sign of having lost an argument. Another swing and a miss for Jordan!

It is important to note here that Jordan—a coward of a man who clearly likes to talk fast but allegedly kept conspicuously silent when young men under his charge were being sexually molested at Ohio State University—pretends to do a lot of busywork when he’s supposed to be listening. It is his attempt to seem like he’s got everything under control, but he so clearly has nothing under control. His next question: “Who started the culture wars?”

Weingarten responded by explaining, once again, that the moment you start banning books about people like Anne Frank and Roberto Clemente, you’ve stepped into a place that can only be called “wrong.” Jordan, desperate to resuscitate his pointless existence on this committee, tried a transphobic attack, which Weingarten redirected back to the question he said he was asking.

The Republican Party’s extremism comes with an enormous price: narcissistic incompetence. Even when they are in control of congressional committees, they cannot turn their circus “investigations” into anything worthwhile. Instead, like all Republican-led committees at this point, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic is mostly a performance art space for right-wing political theater performed by dunderheaded goblins like Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jim Jordan.


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