First week of public impeachment hearings falls along party lines


Courtesy by Wikimedia Commons

President Donald Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky. The impeachment inquiry into Trump stems from his alleged pressuring of Zelensky to investigate his political rivals.

Jake Webster

The first few days of public impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump fell along largely partisan lines.

Trump took to Twitter throughout the week to criticize Democrats, including Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee that has been the focus of recent impeachment hearings.

Early Sunday, Trump retweeted a Republican member of the committee, Elise Stefanik, who said in a tweet, “How many times can Adam Schiff say ‘the Gentlewoman is NOT recognized.'”

At several points during committee hearings, Schiff did not recognize Stefanik to speak when she attempted to talk out of turn in the committee hearing.

Steve King, who represents Story County in Congress, posted photos to Twitter several times on Friday of individuals who he implied were the whistleblower the impeachment inquiry hinges on.

In since-deleted tweets, the long-serving Iowa Republican congressman identified the whistleblower as Alexander Soros, the son of billionaire Democratic Party donor George Soros.

The director of communications at George Soros’ charity, Laura Silber, rejected King’s theory in a statement.

“Rep. King is circulating false information,” Silber said in the statement. “The person in the picture is Alex Soros, deputy chairman of the Open Society Foundations. He is not the whistleblower, and any attempt to identify the whistleblower is a violation of protections put in place to help people in government root out waste, fraud and abuse.”

King did not respond to a request for comment.

The whistleblower in question wrote a complaint that was given to Congress on Sept. 25 and released publicly the next day alleging Trump urged the Ukrainian president to aid in his 2020 re-election bid through investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic candidate for president, in exchange for the United States releasing military aid to Ukraine.

“What the President has admitted to and says it’s ‘perfect,’ I’ve said it’s perfectly wrong, it’s bribery,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who announced the beginning the impeachment proceedings on Sept. 24.

The impeachment inquiry was formalized in a vote in the House of Representatives on Oct. 31, with Iowa’s congressional delegation split along partisan lines. All three Democrats voted in favor and King, the lone Republican, against.

None of Iowa’s congressional Democrats sit on the Intelligence Committee handling the impeachment inquiry. King was stripped of his committee assignments in January.