Rep. Sean MaloneySean Patrick MaloneyProgressives hit back after moderates take aim at Pelosi Entire NY Democratic congressional delegation now calling for Cuomo's resignation The Memo: Democrats torn over whether Trump's absence helps party MORE (D-N.Y.) received applause and laughter after his line of questioning resulted in Ambassador to the European Union Gordon SondlandGordon SondlandThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Biden to mark Tuesday anniversary of George Floyd's death Trump impeachment witness suing Pompeo, State over legal fees America's practice of 'pay-to-play' ambassadors is no joke MORE saying that he assumes President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE would benefit from an investigation into the Bidens.
In footage of the moment from Wednesday's impeachment hearing, Maloney can be seen repeatedly pressing Sondland on who would benefit from an investigation into the family of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJill Biden campaigns for McAuliffe in Virginia Fill the Eastern District of Virginia Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted MORE.
Gordon Sondland: "I really resent what you're trying to do."— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 20, 2019
Sean Maloney: "With all due respect, sir, we appreciate your candor, but let's be really clear what it took to get it out of you." pic.twitter.com/T2mnzqUZHo
“Who would benefit from an investigation of the Bidens?” Maloney asks.
“I assume President Trump would benefit,” Sondland responds.
“There we have it!” Maloney exclaims to laughter and applause from those in attendance at the hearing. “See? Didn’t hurt a bit, did it? Didn’t hurt a bit.”
Sondland then pushes back against Maloney, saying he has been “forthright” in his testimony and that he resents what the congressman was trying to imply during the moment.
“Fair enough. You’ve been very forthright. This is your third try to do so, sir,” Maloney responds. “Didn’t work so well the first time, did it? We had a little declaration come in after, do you remember that? And now we’re here a third time and we’ve got a doozy of a statement from you this morning.”
There’s a whole bunch of stuff that you don’t recall," he continues, "so all due respect, sir, we appreciate your candor, but let’s be really clear on what it took to get it out of you."
Moments later, Maloney continues his line of questioning, saying: “So my question is, when the president is putting pressure on the Ukrainians, withholding a meeting to get this investigation that you and I agree would benefit him politically, what kind of position does that put the Ukrainians in, sir?”
“A terrible position,” the ambassador responds, to which Maloney counters: "Terrible position. Why?”
“Well, obviously they’re not receiving ultimately what they thought was coming to them, and they’re put in a position that jeopardizes their security,” Sondland replies.
“A position that jeopardizes their security, and they’re being asked to do an investigation to help their security, essentially, that would benefit the president politically," Maloney said. "In other words, you might say they’re being asked to give him a personal benefit in exchange for an official act. Is that a fair summary?”
“In your hypothetical, that’s correct,” Sondland responds.
Maloney fires back, saying: “It’s not a hypothetical, sir. This is real life.”
The moment instantly went viral on Twitter and prompted Maloney's name to surge in the platform's list of top trending items.
WOW.— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) November 20, 2019
Sondland tried to say he "resents" the implication he's been less than forthcoming and Maloney goes off, notes it's taken him three tries.
"All due respect sir, we respect your candor, but let’s be really clear what it took to get it out of you."
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney out here with that strong New York Irish cop energy as he gets Sondland to say clearly that the investigations Trump wanted would benefit Trump pic.twitter.com/jYryHiWJ0J— Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) November 20, 2019
Rep. Maloney is not taking ANY shit.— Imani Gandied Yams (@AngryBlackLady) November 20, 2019
Maloney later commented on the moment on Twitter, saying: “Friendly reminder: we’re here on our THIRD try and there was a whole bunch of stuff Amb. Sondland didn’t recall — so, while I do appreciate his candor, we’ve got to be really clear what it took to get it out of him.”
Maloney also responded to commentary from “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness, who tweeted: “Werq [work] this line of questioning.”
“You got it,” Maloney responded.