The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump moved into a new phase last week as the House Intelligence Committee held its first open hearings.
As the witnesses were sworn-in that morning, the president’s supporters in Georgia’s Congressional delegation had already begun to voice their opposition to the inquiry.
On Twitter, House Rep. Jody Hice (R-Greensboro) called the hearings part of a staged campaign from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., against the president.
It's Opening Day of the #SchiffShow — the greatest political scam in U.S. history.
It will be a flop!
— Rep. Jody Hice (@CongressmanHice) November 13, 2019
House Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Pooler), who has long been a supporter of the president, called the investigation a “sham.”
As Dems charge on with the impeachment sham, it's important to remember:
- @realDonaldTrump and Zelensky both said there was no pressure
- Ukraine did not know the aid had not been released at the time of the call
- aid was released
- WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN THE CALL TRANSCRIPT
— Buddy Carter (@RepBuddyCarter) November 13, 2019
House Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainsville) perhaps one of the president’s most ardent defenders, took the opportunity to poke fun at the impeachment hearings.
In a tweet, Collin’s seemed to compare today’s testimony to a scene from "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off."
A live look into Ambassador Taylor’s testimony in the Schiff impeachment proceedings → pic.twitter.com/oiiUgkc8UG
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) November 13, 2019
In recent polling of Georgian voters from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution there is a majority of support for the impeachment inquiry, though those polled appear split on removing the president from office.
AJC Editor Kevin Riley discussed the paper's new poll data on Political Rewind with Bill Nigut.
The polling shows 54% of registered Georgia voters approve of the inquiry, compared to 44% who oppose the proceedings and 2% who do not know or refuse to answer.
“The bottom line on this impeachment question is that our poll shows that 54% of registered Georgia voters disapprove of the president’s job performance while 44% approve,” Riley said on last week's show. “And that a majority support this impeachment inquiry.”
But Georgians appear evenly divided when it comes to removing the president from office, despite approving of the ongoing inquiry into his conduct. 47% said Trumps should not be removed and 47% said he should be removed, with about 6% undecided or not answering.
On Political Rewind with Bill Nigut last Thursday, former Democratic Georgia Congressman Buddy Darden said he was impressed by the first day's witnesses, ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor and George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary at the State Department.
“I thought they came across, to me, as unbiased,” Darden said. “This is going to last two or three weeks. Let’s see what people say, let’s see what the evidence shows and then we’ll see where the vote goes.”
Sitting across the table, Republican Strategist Edward Lindsey said he responded in a similar way to the first witnesses in the impeachment hearings.
Lindsey, a former Georgia state representative where he served three terms as the House majority whip, said he was struck by the professionalism of the proceeding's first two witnesses Wednesday.
“They did a really good job laying out what they knew, and they were very explicit about what they didn’t know,” Lindsey said. “And so when folks tried to push them to take opinions or to say something that was outside the scope of their actual knowledge, they were very quick to stay within their lane and I think that’s very much to the credit of both of them and, quite frankly, allowed both sides to walk away with certain talking points.”
For more reaction from Political Rewind, check out last week's episode below.
Be sure to tune in on GPR Radio or check into our digital livestream at 2pm for continued coverage of impeachment hearing, Georgia’s Congressional delegation and all things politics in the Peach State, including November 20th's Democratic Presidential Debate hosted in Atlanta.