House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) enraged Republicans on the committee by suddenly delaying a vote on impeachment articles that was supposed to occur Thursday night, and one Democrat on the committee has admitted the move was for attention.
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) told CNN on Friday that instead of having the vote late Thursday night when no one was paying attention, the committee wanted to maximize the number of potential viewers by pushing it until Friday morning. The Thursday night hearing lasted nearly until midnight.
"We went into [Thursday] thinking we were going to vote yesterday also, but my Republican colleagues offered amendment after amendment and it was clear that this was going to go well into the night, and this is the most consequential vote most members of Congress will ever cast. The American people deserve to see it. It ought to take place in the light of day," Deutch said.
"This is the most important thing we're going to do in the committee. Of course, we shouldn't rush it," Deutch continued. "So we decided to go home, take a break and come back and actually have this vote today after everyone has had an opportunity to think about what they heard over the past two days about the president's abuse of power and then the obstruction of Congress that led us to this moment to begin with."
House Democrat Admits They Delayed Impeachment Vote Because It Was Too Late For TV Viewers youtu.be
Ranking member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) accused Democrats of making the impeachment into a television show Thursday night.
"This is why people don't like us," Collins said. "This crap like this is why people are having such a terrible opinion of Congress. What Chairman Nadler just did, and his staff, and the rest of the majority who sat there quietly and said nothing, this is why they don't like us. They know it's all about games. It's all about the TV screens. They want the primetime hit. This is Speaker Pelosi and Adam Schiff and the others directing this committee."
Accusations of pandering to the media have surrounded the entire impeachment process. House Democrats privately deposed witnesses in closed-door sessions before having them testify publicly in high profile hearings, and lawmakers used breaks in the hearings to do press interviews.
The television ratings indicated that the hearings were not fully capturing the public's attention, dropping off quickly after a strong start, and failing to attract as many viewers as hearings for former FBI Director James Comey and former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen.