House Republicans call impeachment hearing 'boring,' dismiss Taylor testimony as hearsay

Top Republicans in the House dismissed the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE as boring and said they don't believe any new information emerged that would justify impeaching the president.

They brushed off a key piece of testimony from William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, that Democrats said was cause for alarm as mere hearsay. Taylor testified Wednesday that a staffer told him U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland said Trump was more interested in investigations into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: 'What is Trump hiding?' Democrat representing Pennsylvania district Trump carried plans to vote to impeach  MORE and his son, Hunter, than in Ukraine.

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“Nope [none of the new information was interesting], and that's a good thing for us is nothing is new, nothing different the stuff we've heard before,” Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeLive coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment Trump, first lady take part in National Christmas Tree lighting Lawmakers to watch during Wednesday's impeachment hearing MORE (R-Texas), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told The Hill. 

“There are no smoking guns, there are no bombshells. And that's going to continue to be the case," he said. "I thought today was probably boring for the American people to watch. I bet they tuned out after watching it and I bet they're less interested in watching Friday's than they were in watching today.”

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — Sparks fly as House Judiciary debates impeachment articles Democrats object to Meadows passing note to Jordan from dais Meadows says he's advocating for Trump to add Alan Dershowitz to impeachment defense team MORE (R-N.C.), one of Trump’s strongest allies in the House, said he doesn’t find the new developments concerning.

“You know, it's amazing he [Taylor] prepared for hours to come up here and all of a sudden, voila, he gets this miraculous intervention from one of his staffers that reminds him. Does it concern me? I think what happens is when we start to look at the facts, everybody has their impression of what truth is,” he said during a break in the hearing. 

“Just like all of you as reporters have your impression of what truth is, the ultimate judge will be the American people. And I think most of them will see what I'm seeing in that room — it's reporters and people in the audience who are yawning because this is all about a policy difference between the president of the United States and a few people at the State Department.”

GOP lawmakers largely said they felt their preparations — which included a mock hearing on Tuesday — paid off, with several members arguing they prevailed over Democrats. 

"I think everybody in there practicing, it turned out very good," one GOP lawmaker told The Hill. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyHouse passes sweeping Pelosi bill to lower drug prices CEO group pushes Trump, Congress on paid family, medical leave The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — Sparks fly as House Judiciary debates impeachment articles MORE (R-Calif.) said he is satisfied with his decision to temporarily move House Oversight and Reform Ranking Member Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanDemocrats object to Meadows passing note to Jordan from dais Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment Horowitz to appear before second Senate panel next week MORE (R-Ohio) onto the House Intelligence Committee for the duration of impeachment proceedings, praising the Ohio Republican’s performance during the hearing.  

“Jordan did really well, I thought Caster did really well, I thought it turned out exactly as we wanted it to," he told The Hill. 

While Republicans said they are pleased with the outcome of the hearing, Ratcliffe said they will continue to work to improve their strategy as the inquiry continues.  

“We want to be smart and strategic and so we'll look and see what we did well and what we can do better. And those things, you know will be important and I'm sure we'll adjust and shape accordingly,” he said. “But again, we feel like we had a really good day given the stakes. Everyone knows that Republicans have one or two hands tied behind their back under the way this thing is operating and that was clear today in terms of the unwillingness of Democrats to engage in or entertain any of the motions or debates that we raised that we think are important."