Republican Rep. Brian Mast took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday to defend President Donald Trump against a sole article of impeachment. He used his time to ask a question he knew could not be answered.
“I rise with a very simple question,” Mast offered. “On Jan. 6, thousands of people broke the law by taking siege of our Capitol here with us inside. Has any one of those persons who bought violence on our Capitol been brought here to say whether they did that because of our President?”
Many of those people have been arrested. Several have indicated on social media and in interviews with mainstream media, with media widely available, that they were, in fact, thinking they were doing Trump’s bidding when they attacked the Capitol. None, however, was subpoenaed for the impeachment debate that took place Wednesday afternoon in the House of Representatives.
Nonetheless, House rules do not allow for questions and answers during a debate. So Mast’s question was followed by 30 seconds of silence while his one-minute of time ticked away.
“It appears I will receive no answer,” Mast finally said as if he had won a point, and then he stepped away from the lectern.
It’s the second time in eight days that Mast had done that in defense of Trump in a House debate.
On Jan. 6, less than half an hour before the mob stormed the Capitol and shut down debate, Mast was the only member of the Florida delegation who got a chance to debate the Electoral College vote count for Arizona in the afternoon session.
Just as he did Wednesday, on that day Mast used his time to ask a question he knew no one could or would answer.
“I rise with a simple question,” he said that day as well. “Can the chair honestly tell Americans that with pending Supreme Court legislation, or pending Supreme Court case, what with legal observers not being allowed to inspect and observe signatures, that the laws and constitution of that state were not violated to change voting outcomes?”
He was asked to repeat the question and he did. Then he was told his time had expired and the debate moved past.