Every presidential scandal/crisis creates memorable words that enter history.
For Nixon they were, “I am not a crook” and “What did the president know and when did he know it?”
For Bill Clinton, they were “I did not have sex with that woman.”
In the Donald Trump impeachment battle, it perhaps will be a little early to declare what words will live in history. Nonetheless, I will submit these:
“The gentleman will suspend.”
These words were repeatedly used against Republican by Democratic House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrod Nadler as he ruled
Republican questions and objections as out of order during his hearings on Trump’s impeachment.
He can use them to cut off Republicans under Roberts Rule of Order, the widely accepted parliamentary guide for conducting meetings. The rules give the committee chairman (elected by the committee’s Democratic majority) wide range to allow what can or can’t be discussed.
It’s a way of a committee member asking the chairman, “Hey, I’ve got a question over here. Can we talk about it?” Almost without exception Nadler cut off Republicans when they raised such questions with the expression, “The gentlemen will suspend,” meaning that the questioner’s time is up and he should shut up. He used it so often that it should become Trump’s impeachment watchword.
The chairman’s decision in some cases can be overruled by a vote of the committee, but since Democrats control it, Nadler’s ruling would be supported.
Obviously, Republicans are using these objections to portray just how prejudiced the committee and Democrats are as they rush toward a pre-determined impeachment. It’s a good ploy by Republicans and it indeed makes Democrats deservedly look bad and unfair.
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