Schiff interrupts GOP questioning during impeachment hearing, changes the rules: Report

November 14, 2019

House Democrats’ ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump continued in public fashion on Wednesday with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor appearing on Capitol Hill. But apparently, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) didn’t want him to say too much.

The House Intelligence Committee chairman, who has been leading the Democrats’ inquiry, stunned Republicans Wednesday when he interrupted Republican attorney Steve Castor’s questioning of Taylor, seeming to change the rules midway through the hearing, Breitbart reported.

“Are you seriously interrupting our time?”

Schiff’s questionable conduct came as Castor asked Taylor if he could understand why President Trump might be concerned about the possibility that Ukraine had sought to keep him from being elected in 2016, according to USA Today. “I’ll allow the question, but—” Schiff interrupted.

Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) fired back with some harsh words. “Are you seriously interrupting our time here?” Rep. Nunes demanded.

Schiff responded that he would “allow the question” and “won’t dock this from the time.”

“I just want to be clear, ambassador, if you’re able to verify the things that counsel has asked you in the prerequisite of the question, that’s fine,” Schiff said. “Otherwise, in questions from the majority or the minority that may assume facts not in evidence before you, you should be cautioned about that.”

“This hearing is going to change significantly”

Rep. John Ratcliff (R-TX), who also sits on the Intelligence panel, wasn’t impressed with this turn of events.

“Chairman, I sat here through the first 45 minutes and literally had an objection to almost the foundation of every question that Mr. Goldman asked regarding facts not in evidence, leading, but House Resolution 660 does not say that we are under the Federal Rules of Evidence,” Ratcliff said. “If it is your position that I should be asserting objections to questions that violate the Federal Rules of Evidence, let me know now, because this hearing is [going to] change significantly.”

Rather than address the issue, Schiff simply replied that he would allow the question, and ignored a demand from Nunes to clarify whether the Federal Rules of Evidence were to be considered in effect. He then allowed Castor and Taylor to proceed — but according to Breitbart, “Schiff’s tactic [had] worked.”

The former ambassador subsequently refused to speculate on whether the president had a right to be concerned about Ukrainian involvement in U.S. elections.

Schiff’s conduct earned him sharp rebukes from Republicans like North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, who tweeted Wednesday:

Indeed, watching these hearings has been an unreal experience for conservatives who see right through Schiff’s tactics. When will the witch hunt end?

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Adam Peters

Adam Peters is a Conservative Institute staff writer.