Washington (CNN) – One of the more shocking early moments of the Stephen Colbert hearing did not come from the star witness.
It was when House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers asked a confused Colbert to "leave the committee room completely and submit your statement instead."
Conyers' visibly annoyed colleague Zoe Lofgren, who was chairing the subcommittee hearing, made clear Colbert was there at her request, and cut him off saying "the gentleman's time is expired."
After Conyers heard the opening statement of the Republicans witness, he said he wanted to withdraw his request that Colbert leave.
It was an odd moment, to say the least, to have the chairman of a committee try to kick out a witness invited by his subcommittee chairwoman.
But it was also unclear why Conyers did that, so I caught up with him right after the hearing and asked him:
Dana: "When you said he should leave, why did you want him to leave?"
Conyers: "Well I thought it was going to be a circus, and I wanted to avoid that."
Dana: "Was it a circus?"
Conyers: "No...I thought he was pretty profound."
Dana: "You didn't mind the jokes that he made?"
Conyers: "He was funny."
Dana: "Did you mind that he gave an opening statement that was quite different from what he prepared?"
Conyers: "Well, some people do it, nobody's done it as much as he has."