Democrats cut GOP Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz’s microphone at the end of a contentious House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday.
The incident unfolded as Democratic New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the committee, was wrapping up a hearing at which Attorney General William Barr was initially scheduled to testify about the special counsel’s investigation.
Barr declined to show up because Nadler and other Democrats sought to have committee staffers pose questions at the hearing. Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the panel, called Nadler’s move a “stunt” and “circus” during his opening remarks Thursday. (RELATED: Jerry Nadler Claims Trump Campaign Received Stolen Information. That Didn’t Happen)
Judiciary Democrats say AG Barr is “terrified.” Yesterday he testified for over five hours in an open hearing.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) May 2, 2019
Collins also accused Nadler of trampling the rights of the Republican minority by refusing to entertain motions and points of parliamentary inquiry.
Gaetz’s microphone was cut off as he was making an inquiry during Nadler’s closing statement.
“Is this how it’s going to be, Mr. Chairman, where there is not going to be a recognition of members who seek legitimate inquiry as to the procedures —” Gaetz said before his microphone was cut off.
It is not clear from video of the hearing who cut off Gaetz’s microphone.
The scene was reminiscent of an incident on May 5, 2014 in which former Rep. Darrell Issa, who then served as the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, cut off the microphone of Democratic Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings during a hearing on IRS targeting of conservative nonprofit groups.
Issa privately apologized to Cummings.
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