Rep. Jim Jordan challenged US Ambassador William Taylor’s testimony and impartiality in Wednesday’s initial public impeachment hearings, derisively calling him the Democrats’ “star witness.”
The exchange came as the Ohio Republican, a staunch defender of President Trump, grilled Taylor on what the diplomat repeatedly called his “clear understanding” that US military aid dollars would be held up until Ukraine complied with the president’s request to probe Joe and Hunter Biden’s dealings in the nation.
“With all due respect, Ambassador, your clear understanding was wrong,” said Jordan, who was only appointed to the House Intelligence Committee on Nov. 8 to serve as a forceful Republican voice to rebut some of the claims made by Democrats.
Leading Democrats have alleged that Trump established a quid pro quo in a July 25 phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, suggesting he would withhold sorely needed military aid unless the Eastern European nation looked at Hunter Biden’s lucrative post on energy company Burisma.
But, as Jordan noted, the White House ultimately signed off on the $391 million package in mid-September — despite there being no indication Ukraine was opening such a probe.
“And you’re their star witness,” Jordan sniped at Taylor, who at times stumbled over his words in responding. “This is the star witness and the first witness.”
Taylor reiterated a position he stressed in his opening remarks, stating, “I’m not here to take one side or the other. … I don’t consider myself a star witness for anything.”
Gesturing towards Democratic members of the panel, Jordan countered, “They do.”
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