Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., has become one of President Donald Trump's point men in battling impeachment, as he is referenced more than 550 times in the seven impeachment deposition transcripts released so far, more than any other Republican, NBC News reported Monday.
Zeldin, whose district covers eastern Long Island, has tried to steer the depositions away from Trump's conduct by constantly hounding witnesses with queries about the Biden family, a conspiracy theory about the 2016 election, and questioning the witnesses' own credibility.
He also has called the probe a "charade," a "clown show," and a "cocktail that is" House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff's "favorite drink to get America drunk on."
In a show of appreciation for the congressman's pertinacity, Trump has tweeted or retweeted Zeldin's commentary on the investigation more than 20 times since the inquiry was launched in late September. Before this, Trump had promoted Zeldin on Twitter only once to endorse his 2018 re-election bid.
This led one House Democratic aide to say Zeldin was "maybe the best instance I've seen of someone using emulating Trump as a pathway to relevance."
Despite going all-in for Trump, Zeldin does not reside in a very safe Republican district, as he won last year by just 4 percentage points and is expecting another hotly contested race
Zeldin's time in the impeachment spotlight, however could soon be coming to an end, as public hearings are slated to start this week and will be heard in front of the House Intelligence Committee, of which Zeldin is not a member.
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