The person who serves as the top law enforcement officer in the United States, you would think, would be a highly intelligent and canny person.
So, although acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has a string of fairly eye-popping claims against him involving hot tubs and fraud -- I didn't think he'd be, shall we say, intemperate enough to tell the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerry Nadler, that Nadler's time was up for questions.
Sure, the hearing that Whitaker was testifying at this morning had a 5-minute time limit for each committee member.
But hasn't Whitaker ever watched a committee hearing before? One of the things chairmen like best is using the gavel to give themselves as much time as they like. They are the one's with the gavel.
Nadler had just asked if as attorney general Whitaker had ever been asked to approve any action taken by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Whitaker tried what I can only imagine he thought was a dodge.
"Mr Chairman, I see that your five minutes it up," he said.
He appeared to think that he was entitled to call time because, he said, he was in front of the committee "voluntarily."
Nadler used that gavel.