House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler reminded his Republican colleagues during a testy impeachment hearing Monday that 'sharp cross examination of a witness is not badgering a witness."
Nadler's comments came as Democrats began questioning Republican attorney Stephen Castor and chief Democratic investigator, Dan Goldman.
Democrats insisted that President Donald Trump's push to have Ukraine investigate rival Joe Biden while at the same time withholding U.S. military aid ran counter to U.S. policy and benefited Russia as well as himself.
But in one testy exchange, Republican attorney Stephen Castor dismissed the transcript of Trump's crucial call with Ukraine as “ambiguous" and did not amount to the president seeking a personal political favor.
Democrats argued vigorously that Trump's meaning could not have been clearer in seeking political dirt on Biden, his possible opponent in the 2020 election.
The chief Democratic investigator, Dan Goldman, asked for his view, testified, “I don’t think there’s any other wáy to read the words on the page.” Goldman is the top Democratic counsel on the Intelligence Committee.
The Republicans tried numerous times to halt or slow the proceedings, formally objecting several times that the committee’s Democratic counsel was impugning Trump as he spelled out potential charges.
Nadler responded that negative comments about Trump might well be expected in listing reasons to impeach him.
The Judiciary Committee is reviewing the findings of the Intelligence panel's 300-page report ahead of a vote, possibly as soon as this week, on two or more articles of impeachment on charges of abuse of power, bribery and obstruction against the Republican president.
A vote in the full House could come before Christmas.