Rep. Sean MaloneySean Patrick MaloneyAudience cheers Maloney for getting Sondland to say he assumes Trump 'would benefit' from investigation into Bidens Applause breaks out after Vindman says he's not worried about testifying because 'this is America' Live coverage: House holds third day of public impeachment hearings MORE (D-N.Y.) received applause and laughter after his line of questioning resulted in Ambassador to the European Union Gordon SondlandGordon SondlandSchiff: Impeachment testimony shows Trump 'doesn't give a shit' about what's good for the country The Memo: Will impeachment hurt Democrats or Trump? Trump vs. 130 years of civil service MORE saying that he assumes President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades 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 BidenBiden: Buttigieg 'doesn't have significant black support even in his own city' Biden: 'I'd add' Warren to my list of potential VP picks How can top Democrats run the economy with no business skill? MORE

“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.

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.