Neither acting United States Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor nor Assistant Secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau George Kent answered Representative John Ratcliffe (R-TX)’s direct question about what was “impeachable” about President Donald Trump’s routine phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“So, in this impeachment hearing today where we impeach presidents for treason or bribery or other high crimes, where is the impeachable offense in that call?” asked Rep. Ratcliffe of Taylor and Kent.
“Are either of you here today to assert there was an impeachable offense in that call?” added Ratcliffe.
The representative spoke to Taylor and Kent during the House Intelligence Committee’s inaugural public hearing of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Wednesday.
Both bureaucrats responded by saying nothing, creating a moment of deafening silence in the room.
Congressman @RepRatcliffe asks both impeachment witnesses "where is the impeachable offense in that call?"
Silence. No answer. pic.twitter.com/ZPg7P5J6Yf
— Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) November 13, 2019
“Shout it out. Anyone?” probed Ratcliffe during the moment of silence.
Moments earlier, Rep. Ratcliffe affirmed that President Zelensky “stood in front of the world press and repeatedly, consistently, over and over again, in interview after interview, said he had no knowledge of military aid being withheld.”
“Meaning no quid pro quo, no pressure, no demands, no threats, no blackmail,” added Ratcliffe. “Ambassador Taylor, do you have any evidence to assert that President Zelensky was lying to the world press when he said those things? Yes or no?”
“Mr. Ratcliffe,” said Taylor. “If I can respond…”
“My time is short,” reacted Ratcliffe. “Yes or no?”
“I have no reason to doubt what the president said,” said Taylor.