Republican chairman calls opponent a ‘smurf’ in angry exchange at committee hearing

House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer seemed to have a meltdown after a Democrat confronted Mr Comer about how he allegedly loaned his brother a large sum of money, and compared those claims to Mr Comer’s accusations about the Biden family’s “shady” financial practices.

At a Tuesday hearing, Florida Rep Jared Moskowitz began, “The chairman mentioned something. He said, ‘the Biden administration can’t have it both ways’ and I agree,” and asked Rep Comer to explain the alleged loan he gave to his brother.

Last week, The Daily Beast reported that Mr Comer and his brother engaged in land swaps over family farmland. One purchase consisted of a $218,000 payment from Rep Comer, his wife and Farm Team Properties, LLC to Chad Comer.

He was comparing Mr Comer’s payment to the $200,000 check written by James Biden to his brother, dated 1 March 2018, when Joe Biden was not in government service. The check’s memo said it was a “loan payment.” Mr Comer has claimed this “loan payment” demonstrated the Biden family’s “shady financial dealings.”

After showing the similarities between the two instances, the Florida congressman then offered to yield his time to the Kentucky Republican to react.

“I’ve never loaned my brother one penny,” the Oversight Committee chair retorted. He said that his father owned land, which his brother couldn’t afford, so Mr Comer bought it to keep the land in the family. He also called an allegation that he has a shell company “bulls***.”

The Kentucky congressman added, “The White House tried to get CNN to write that story.” He continued, “They went around and tried to investigate all this bulls*** that Ian Sams is trying to tell people that only dumb, financially illiterate people pick up on,” he said, gesturing his hand toward the Florida Democrat.

Eventually, Mr Moskowitz cut in, “I’m reclaiming my time.”

“No I’m not gonna give you your time back,” Mr Comer snapped. “We can stop the clock. You look like a smurf just going around and stuff,” he added, perhaps referring to Rep Moskowitz’s plaid blue suit and light blue tie.

The two congressmen started talking over each other — loudly.

“You have gone on TV and said that the president did something illegal. You’re doing stuff with your brother and the American people have the same questions. Why should they believe you?” Mr Moskowitz said, before accusing Mr Comer of exhibiting a double standard.

“When Mr Comer gives an interview, we’re supposed to take your word for it but when the president says something, he’s not telling the truth,” the Florida Democrat said.

“You’ve already been proven a liar today,” Rep Comer fired back. “Go to my hometown. There’s a camera crew there today doing opposition research. You’re more than welcome. I’ll pay for your ticket.”

“Mr Chairman, this seems to have gotten under your skin. I think the American people have lots of questions,” Rep Moskowitz said, suggesting Mr Comer should “sit for a deposition.”