As Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) practices gaveling down Republicans, several Democrat members of the House Judiciary Committee took time out from Sunday afternoon rehearsals for Monday’s impeachment hearing to taunt their impeachment target, President Trump. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO). posed for a photo posted by Swalwell to Twitter with the statement, “While you’re tweeting at us, Mr. President, we are working to uphold the Constitution and keep you accountable.”
Eric Swalwell (L) , David Cicilline (R), Pramila Jayapal (Center) Joe Neguse (Top)
Swalwell and his fellow Democrats were responding to a tweet by Trump criticizing the Fox News Channel for having them on the channel, “Don’t get why @FoxNews puts losers on like @RepSwalwell (who got ZERO as presidential candidate before quitting), Pramila Jayapal, David Cicilline and others who are Radical Left Haters? The Dems wouldn’t let @FoxNews get near their bad ratings debates, yet Fox panders. Pathetic!”
Don’t get why @FoxNews puts losers on like @RepSwalwell (who got ZERO as presidential candidate before quitting), Pramila Jayapal, David Cicilline and others who are Radical Left Haters? The Dems wouldn’t let @FoxNews get near their bad ratings debates, yet Fox panders. Pathetic!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2019
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) December 8, 2019
Fox’s Chad Pergram reported the Democrats are rehearsing on Sunday for the hearing:
Hse Judiciary Cmte Dems will again rehearse today behind closed doors in preparation for impeachment hearing Monday
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) December 8, 2019
…This weekend, as in previous weeks, the Democrats are also holding practice hearings inside the grand Ways and Means committee room, which also serves as the backup House chamber and is kept at a perpetual frosty chill.
“We’re trying to avoid open-mic night,” said Representative Eric Swalwell, a Democrat of California who is a member of both the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.
On Saturday, they also released a 52-page report, “Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment,” based on weeks of staff research in dusty files to inform the coming debate.
The latest rehearsals are to prepare for a marathon hearing in the same room beginning on Monday morning. Democratic lawyers for the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees will formally present the case for impeachment to lawmakers, while Republicans will be allowed equal time to rebut them. By the end of the week, the Judiciary Committee is likely to vote on the articles of impeachment, with a final vote on the floor of the House expected shortly before Christmas.
In a previous practice session before a hearing on Wednesday that featured a witness panel of constitutional scholars, Mr. Nadler, wielding his wooden gavel, spent extra time rehearsing again and again how to swiftly dispatch with parliamentary disruptions from Republicans…
…Democratic lawmakers took turns walking through scripts of questions and responses they had drafted with committee aides. Mr. Nadler’s chief of staff and others offered feedback: That line did not land. This question needs reworking. The general rule was never ask a question whose answer could not be readily anticipated.
Lawmakers have been encouraged to try to make Latin phrases like “quid pro quo” and concepts like the geopolitics of the former Soviet bloc seem more urgent and accessible to a fatigued public. Explain it in terms of a mayor, they are coached. Explain it in terms of your own experience.
One Democratic lawmaker described the practice sessions as a great deal of tedium punctuated by five minutes of fire. Another planned to bring a seat cushion and blanket.
The Times also noted how hard impeaching Trump is on the House Judiciary Democrats, reporting they are sending texts to each other to boost their spirits:
“But all that solemnity can be exhausting, and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have turned to a text chain for moments of levity, exchanging GIFs, atta-boys and morale check-ins by phone.”
Perhaps Republicans should subpoena those text messages.
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