Republican counsel Steve Castor came to Wednesday's impeachment hearing with a curious line of questioning: could something extremely unusual have, theoretically, been even more unusual?
Castor, the lawyer who questioned diplomat William Taylor on behalf of House Republicans during the public impeachment hearing, asked about what Taylor had previously described as a "confusing and unusual arrangement for making U.S. policy toward Ukraine" in the Trump administration, with there being a secondary, "highly irregular" channel including Rudy Giuliani operating outside of formal diplomatic processes.
But Castor's apparent defense of this irregular channel is that it could have, in theory, been more irregular.
"In fairness, this irregular channel of diplomacy, it's not as outlandish as it could be," Castor said to Taylor. "Is that correct?"
Taylor laughed at this question while agreeing that, well, sure, it "could be" more outlandish. But the line of questioning didn't go quite as Castor likely planned. After Castor tried to get Taylor to say that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland's involvement in the secondary channel also was "certainly not outlandish," Taylor didn't exactly agree, responding that it's "a little unusual for the U.S. ambassador to the EU to play a role in Ukraine policy."
"Okay," Castor said, making one more attempt by asking, "It might be irregular, but it's certainly not outlandish." This time, a seemingly baffled but amused Taylor just smiled.
"This irregular channel of diplomacy is not as outlandish as it could be, is that correct?" GOP counsel asks William Taylor.
Taylor agrees, but adds, "It's a little unusual for the US ambassador to EU to play a role in Ukraine policy." https://t.co/YHsiIaIXhs pic.twitter.com/Vp6mO6PhvF
- ABC News (@ABC) November 13, 2019