After over 12 hours of the impeachment markup hearing -- the interminable, unnecessarily long impeachment markup hearing -- tempers were short. Eric Swalwell tangled with Doug Collins, everyone was yelling at one point or another, and there was enough repetition to turn the Articles of Impeachment into a rhyme.
But Democrats stayed focused: Trump shook down Ukraine for interference in our 2020 election, and withheld critically important military aid as leverage to get what he wanted.
Rep. David Cicilline wrapped up the 12-hour marathon first segment of the hearing with a righteous rant aimed at his Republican colleagues.
He began with a quick review of why impeachment is especially a remedy for "conduct that corrupts elections," reminding everyone that the primary check on a president's power is political, but attempts to subvert the Constitution and endanger the integrity of elections, the democratic process is corrupted and the only remedy is impeachment.
And then he dropped the hammer.
"I ask my Republican colleagues, how many of you would allow or solicit a foreign power to help in your re-elections? Please raise your hands," he challenged. " Not one of you because you know it would violate the Constitution. And you know it would corrupt the right of the American people to decide who will represent them in the Congress of the United States."
Suffice it to say, he was not smiling when he said these things. He was furious, especially at the idea that every Republican in that room knows beyond ALL doubt that soliciting foreign interference in an American election is grounds for impeachment and removal from office.
Yet, even though every Republican did not raise their hand, they continue to defend Trump's conduct. As I write, we are now in the 13th hour of hearings and they are still playing to their audience of one.