State Department official David Holmes may have been repeatedly interrupted by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) during his impeachment hearing Thursday, but he managed to flash some attitude during the grilling — a fed-up eye roll that was captured on camera.
Jordan challenged Holmes about the phone conversation Holmes testified that he overheard between U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and President Donald Trump. A skeptical Jordan wanted to know why acting U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine William Taylor hadn’t mentioned the call earlier — and why Holmes hadn’t told Taylor about it sooner — if it was so important.
“You said this was an extremely distinctive experience, one of the ‘most remarkable events of my life,’” Jordan said, prompting an eye roll from Holmes.
Holmes had testified that he overheard both sides of a July 26 conversation between Sondland, who he said held his cell phone away from his ear, and Trump, who spoke loudly on the other end of the line. He said he heard Sondland tell Trump that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “loves your ass.” When Trump asked Sondland if Zelensky was going to do the “investigation” — which Holmes understood to be the president’s call for a probe into his political rival Joe Biden and his son — Sondland replied: “He’s gonna do it,” Holmes testified.
Holmes said he told his supervisor about the call and personally told Taylor about it when he returned from a vacation. Holmes indicated that the call had made a big impression on him, but when he told Taylor about the conversation, the information didn’t appear to be a surprise.
“Everyone by that point agreed. It was obvious what the president was pressing for,” Holmes told Jordan.
Jordan repeatedly interrupted Holmes, who grimaced, smiled, laughed and shook his head as he tried to answer the congressman’s questions. House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) repeatedly warned Jordan to let Holmes speak.
“Mr. Jordan, you may not like the witness’s answer, but we will hear it,” Schiff said.