Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) was dealt an obvious burn by Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) during the first public impeachment hearing when Jordan declared that Congress would “never get a chance” to question “the guy who started it all.”
The Republican congressman was referring to the anonymous whistleblower whose complaint prompted the House Intelligence Committee’s probe into President Donald Trump’s attempt to leverage millions in military aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rival Joe Biden. But as Welch was quick to point out, Jordan had failed to acknowledge the real origin of the investigation.
“There is one witness, one witness, that they won’t bring in front of us, they won’t bring in front of the American people,” Jordan said on Wednesday. “That’s the guy who started it all, the whistleblower.”
“Thank you, I say to my colleague, I’d be glad to have the person who started it all come in and testify,” Welch swiftly replied. “President Trump is welcome to take a seat right there.”
Welch’s comment was met with laughter throughout the hearing room.
Wednesday’s hearing saw public testimony from acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and State Department official George Kent.
The two were first questioned for 45 minutes by Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and his committee counsel, Daniel Goldman, and for 45 minutes by Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and his committee counsel, Stephen Castor. In the afternoon, they were questioned by the committee’s other Democratic and Republican members.
Following Welch’s rebuke, Twitter lit up with reactions, prompting “Jim Jordan” to soar to the second-highest trending topic on the social media platform, topped only by “#ImpeachmentHearings.”
Here are a few of those tweets, including a follow-up invitation from Welch himself: