Rep. Lacy Clay had his homework done and his questions ready for Commerce Secretary and Kate McKinnon impersonator, Wilbur Ross. Inasmuch as one can without moving one's lips, Sec. Ross attempted to answer with deflections and false propriety, and outright lies. Rep. Clay was not here for any of it, and it was a thing of beauty.
First, Clay opened by playing three clips of separate times Ross appeared before Congress to testify that the Census question regarding citizenship status was initiated by the Department of Justice, not Sec. Ross himself or the Trump administration. Then he read directly from a memo dated 8 months earlier, written by Sec. Ross to his staff, wherein he expressed frustration and demanded to know, "I am mystified why nothing has been done in response to my month's-old request that we include a citizenship question. Why not?"
Ross hemmed and hawed, saying, "Well, don'tchyaknow, these things have to be nailed down pretty far in advance, and stuff, and I'd just, ya know, HEARD that they might want a question, ya know, like that, and I just like ta be ahead of the game, bro, and sup, new haircut?" Okay, he didn't say that. But basically, his answer amounted to the same kind of BS. Rep. Clay was not having that, either, which was reflected in his response-o-beauty, "I'm well aware of that -- wait, no. I have the time. I'm well aware of that because in 2010, I oversaw that census, but when you testified last year you failed to mention any of this, is that correct?"
In the midst of Clay talking, Ross attempted to interrupt, his voice dripping with condescension, to say, "That is the fact, sir. I am sorry you're dissatisfied with it."
Again. AGAIN I am wishing my bosses would allow me to place GIFs into my posts. But you can just imagine which ones I'd insert.
Then Clay finishes, and finishes ROSS with this closing:
REP. CLAY: Mr. Secretary -- Mr. Secretary, you lied to Congress. You misled the American people and you are complicit in the Trump administration's intent to suppress the growing political power of the non-white population. You have already done great harm to the census in 2020 and you have zero credibility, and you should, in my opinion, resign. I yield back.
To which Weasel Ross attempts to retort, as if he is in charge, "Is there a question in that, sir?"
(Please. Imagine the GIF.)
That attempt to assert superiority over Clay must have really taken its toll on Ross, because immediately after that, he needed to request a recess, even though the hearing had only been going on for little more than an hour.
ROSS: Mr. Chairman, we've been at this now for somewhat more than an hour. Would the committee indulge me in taking a break?
CHAIRMAN CUMMINGS: Yes, of course. We'll recess for ten minutes.
It is my contention that after Clay's closing, the real reason for the recess request was so that Ross could change his pants.