Washington Examiner: Rep. Elise Stefanik courageously establishes herself as one to watch in the impeachment drama

Published on November 19, 2019 by Chandler Thornton

The impeachment saga is going to offer up its share of villains and heroes, but there is no doubt that Rep. Elise Stefanik, a young Republican from New York, has emerged as one of the early stars.

Stefanik has been both a relentless advocate for transparency and a hard-nosed cross-examiner of witnesses.

During Stefanik’s effective questioning of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, the ambassador confirmed that she was coached by the Obama administration on how to handle queries regarding Hunter Biden and his involvement with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

We now know that Biden received about $50,000 per month for his board position with the company while his father served as vice president. If it was a concern for the Obama-Biden team, why should it not also be a matter of concern for Republicans and President Trump?

“So, for the millions of Americans watching,” Stefanik said during the widely publicized hearings last week, “President Obama’s own State Department was so concerned about potential conflicts of interest from Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma that they raised it themselves while prepping this wonderful ambassador nominee before her confirmation.”

“And yet, our Democratic colleagues and the chairman of this committee cry foul when we dare ask that same question the Obama administration was so concerned about. But we will continue asking it,” she said.

The heart of the Democrats’ impeachment investigation is the phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25, which referenced Joe Biden’s personal involvement in the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who happened to be investigating Burisma.

Stefanik has become a top objector to Rep. Adam Schiff, the California congressman leading the impeachment hearings as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Schiff’s attempts to muzzle Stefanik and other Republicans on the committee have exposed the weakness of his case.

“This is the fifth time you have interrupted a duly-elected member of Congress,” Stefanik shot back at Schiff, who repeatedly slammed the gavel and told her she was “not recognized” to speak.

At one point, Schiff sat glumly while Stefanik read news accounts of all the times he promised to have the whistleblower testify before the committee — a promise that came to nothing once it was learned the whistleblower may have partisan leanings, including prior work with an unnamed Democrat currently running for president in 2020, and also may have secretly coordinated with Schiff’s staff.

Bad leadership is easy to spot, and Schiff’s lack of transparency and withholding of information are prime examples. His misrepresentation of the facts, such as when he blatantly falsified what was said on the July 25 phone call, disqualify him from leading the impeachment hearings.

Predictably, as clips of Stefanik’s performance went viral, she became the target of sexist attacks from critics who did not like her line of questioning.

ABC political analyst Matthew Dowd tweeted that Stefanik “is a perfect example of why just electing someone because they are a woman or a millennial doesn’t necessarily get you the leaders we need.” The Washington Post was equally dismissive, calling Stefanik’s moment a “gender-centric stunt” and “manufactured.”

No one expects the liberal media to sing the praises of a strong, able, and effective woman from the Republican side of the aisle. The contrast with the fawning press treatment of far-left Democrats such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is hard to miss. But if it is courage and toughness you want, Stefanik has established herself as a rising star and a person definitely worth watching.

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