Published on November 26, 2019 by Gabriella Muñoz
New York Rep.Elise Stefanikstood out with her hard-nosed interrogation of Democrats’ star witnesses during two weeks of public hearings on impeachment of PresidentTrump, emerging as a rising star in theRepublican Partybut also putting a national target on her back.
The three-term Republican congresswoman delivered a counter punch to Rep.Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence who presided over the hearings, repeatedly challenging him on the dais.
“She came across as a well-prepared person who was skeptical or opposed to the idea of impeachment,” saidMichael Malbin, a political science professor at theUniversity of Albanyand director of the Campaign Finance Institute. “But she did not come across to me, as the way Devin Nunes did or Jim Jordan, as people who are going to attack the witnesses and defend the president at all costs.”
Ms.Stefanikbecame an internet sensation with a viral video from a hearing in which Mr.Schiffblocked her from questioning former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
Republicans on the dais slammed the California Democrat for “gagging the gentlewoman.” Democrats later criticized Ms.Stefanikfor engaging in what they called partisan theatrics.
She also stood out as the only woman among the nine Republicans on the committee.
When Ms.Stefanikgot the opportunity to speak, she commanded the hearings with sharp, rapid-fire questions of witnesses that established two pillars of theGOPdefense: that Hunter Biden’s position with Ukraine natural gas company Burma Holdings posed a potential conflict of interest as his father was vice president, and that the Trump administration delivered lethal aid for Ukraine to fight Russia-backed forces, aid that the Obama administration denied.
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