The GOP-led House Judiciary Committee held a field hearing in New York City Monday to examine what it called the “pro-crime, anti-victim policies” of District Attorney Alvin Bragg, and during the proceedings, Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-30) was heckled by an attendee who was ultimately removed from the room, as The Hill reports.
The heckler expressed his dissatisfaction during Schiff's opening remarks, in which he accused Republicans of using the hearing as a ruse to retaliate against Bragg for his prosecution of former President Donald Trump.
The incident began to unfold as Schiff delivered an opening statement blasting the GOP's criticism of Bragg and asserting that Republicans on the panel were serving as Trump's “criminal defense counsel.”
It was during that part of the proceedings that a man rose to his feet and began yelling insults at the California congressman, calling him a “scumbag” at one point, as Mediaite noted.
Republican committee chairman Jim Jordan (OH-04) did what he could to restore order and requested that Capitol Police remove the heckler from the room, though he continued his invective, also blaming the GOP for paying “attention to people who are justifying a bunch of families dying.” WATCH:
‘YOU’RE A SCUMBAG!’ Hecklers Derail House Judiciary Hearing in NYC By Screaming at Adam Schiff https://t.co/7KJ8bIGMD2
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) April 17, 2023
As the initial heckler was being escorted from the hearing room, another attendee stood up and declared that Bragg was “the reason” for escalating violent crime in the Big Apple.
Jordan again intervened, told the man, “you gotta go,” and solicited help from the Capitol Police.
It was at that point that the man curiously stated, “Ralph Nader, you're a disgrace to this country,” though it was clear to many in the room that he was actually referring to Democrat panel member Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-12).
Schiff saw the comment as an opening to inject some levity, remarking, “Those comments about Ralph Nader are way out of line” and sparking laughter inside the room.
It is not entirely surprising that hearing attendees who were present to lend support to the notion that Bragg's policies have led to increases in crime and the victimization of countless New Yorkers were frustrated by Schiff's opening statement, given its focus on Trump and panel Republicans.
Schiff lamented, “Since the former president's indictment, the Manhattan District Attorney has been the subject of countless death threates and racist diatribes.”
The congressman further accused committee leadership of using “every means at its disposal to disrupt, interrupt and interfere with the prosecution...holding this hearing in Manhattan in a vain attempt to intimidate or embarrass the prosecutorial authority.”
Giving little mention to crime rates in New York City, Schiff concentrated on the contention that Republicans are instead acting as Trump's criminal defense counsel and using concern about the victims in attendance as a smokescreen.
It was not only hecklers in the audience who raised the temperature inside the hearing room last week, as one of the witnesses at the proceeding, Madeline Brame, fired back angrily when Democrats appeared to minimize her concerns, as the Daily Mail reported.
Brame told the story of the brutal manner in which her son, Army veteran Hason Correa, was stabbled to death on the street by assailants he did not even know, and she blamed Bragg's soft-on-crime philosophy for the lack of complete justice in her family's case.
When Democrat Rep. Dan Goldman (NY-10) told Brame, “Your experiences are devastating, but the problem is this is a charade to cover up for an abuse of power that they are going around taking incessantly outside of this hearing about Donald Trump. The purpose of this hearing is to cover up for what they know to be an inappropriate investigation.”
“Don't insult my intelligence! You're trying to insult me like I'm not aware of what's going on. I'm fully aware of what's going on here! That's why I walked away from the plantation of the Democratic Party!” Brame declared, adding an extra dose of emotion to highly charged events of the day.