- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 4, 2020

Two of the top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday got into a heated exchange over the length of a hearing to authorize subpoenas for Obama-era officials.

After Sen. Dick Durbin, Illinois Democrat, finished speaking, Sen. Ben Sasse interrupted to ask how much longer the hearing would continue.

“Some of us have other committees and, with all due respect, I don’t think anyone in private ever disagrees with me when I say it’s bulls—t the way people grandstand for cameras here,” Mr. Sasse, Nebraska Republican, said in response to Mr. Durbin’s impassioned argument against the subpoenas.

“If we didn’t have cameras in the room, the discussion would be different,” Mr. Sasse continued. “The Senate doesn’t work, it doesn’t defuse the partisan tension that is leading the country towards dissolution.

“But 90% of our committees are about people trolling for soundbites,” Mr. Sasse said, raising his voice. “That is what actually happens. So some of us have other work to do. People can troll for soundbites whenever they want, but can we at least have a sense of when we are going to take our vote so we can come back.”

Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham fired back that he didn’t think members were trolling for soundbites and that Mr. Durbin was passionate about the subpoena issue.

“I find the whole concept offensive,” the South Carolina Republican snapped back at his colleague.

“If you’ve got to go somewhere else, go,” Mr. Graham yelled. “We’re going to do what this committee needs to do and we are going to fight it out.”

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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