Democrat Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) defended “hearsay” evidence during the first public hearing of the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday.
During the hearing, witnesses Bill Taylor and George Kent, both senior State Department officials, could not present direct evidence of President Trump trying to leverage military assistance or a White House visit in exchange for Ukraine launching investigations into Joe Biden and his son — only what they heard from other officials.
But Quigley tried to defend the use of “hearsay” as evidence, claiming it could be “much better” than direct evidence.
“Hearsay can be much better evidence than direct evidence,” he said.
That declaration prompted mocking on social media, including from the president’s son Donald Trump Jr.
“Can you believe this insanity? ‘Heresay [sic] can be much better evidence than DIRECT EVIDENCE’ according to Democrat Mike Quigley. Are you fricken kidding me? 3rd and 4th party info better than hearing it yourself?” Trump Jr. tweeted.
Can you believe this insanity? “Heresay can be much better evidence than DIRECT EVIDENCE” according to Democrat Mike Quigley. Are you fricken kidding me? 3rd and 4th party info better than hearing it yourself? pic.twitter.com/K8WVcPhv7v
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 13, 2019
In his opening statement at the hearing, House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) recalled how Democrats “falsely” claimed there was “more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion between Trump and the Russians.
In one notable moment from the hearing, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) mocked witnesses’ hearsay evidence as more complicated than “prayer chains.”
“’Ambassador Taylor recalls that Mr. Morrison told Ambassador Taylor that I told Mr. Morrison that I conveyed this message to Mr. Yermak on September 1, 2019, in connection with Vice President Pence’s meeting to Warsaw and a meeting with President Zelensky,'” Jordan said, reading from U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s testimony.
He said to Taylor, “We got six people having four conversations in one sentence, and you just told me this is where you got your clear understanding.”
“I’ve seen church prayer chains that are easier to understand than this,” he added.
"6 people having 4 conversations in 1 sentence, & you tell me this is where you just got your clear understanding… I've seen church prayer chains that are easier to understand than this."@Jim_Jordan exposes Bill Taylor's lack of firsthand knowledge on Democrats' allegations. pic.twitter.com/Cprp1XvrTe
— Rep Andy Biggs (@RepAndyBiggsAZ) November 13, 2019
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