Republicans attack Democratic congressman watching golf during impeachment hearing

Alex Woodward
Getty Images

Following a House Judiciary Committee's passage of articles of impeachment against a president for the fourth time in US history, Republican leaders have directed their outrage to Democratic congressman who appeared to be watching golf during the 14-hour hearing.

Steve Guest, the GOP's rapid response director, asked on Twitter: "What on earth is Democrat Rep. Cedric Richmond watching on his laptop during this impeachment markup? To me, it looks like Rep. Richmond is watching the President's Cup golf tournament. Richmond's actions are a DISGRACE."

A zoomed-in version of a photo attached to Mr Guest's post showed that the New Orleans Congressman was watching the President's Cup golf tournament during Thursday's lengthy hearing, during which Republicans failed to advance several amendments to articles against Donald Trump that effectively stripped them of charges.

The president is charged with abuses of power in his dealings with Ukraine as well as obstruction in Congress's investigation.

GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Democrats on the committee "are so 'solemn' and 'prayerful' about impeachment that they're watching golf at the hearing. This partisan sham has been an absolute waste of the American people's time."

During the hearing, Mr Richmond warned that Mr Trump's attempts to influence 2020 elections by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political opponent Joe Biden is an "emergency" that demands Congress take action.

He said: "Our oath to the constitution requires us to take this drastic, solemn and regrettable step, but it's necessary, because if we don't protect America's precious right to vote it is clear the other side won't."

Mr Richmond also is co-chair of Mr Biden's presidential campaign.

The full House is expected to vote on impeachment next week.