State Department Official Says He Overheard Trump Call About Ukraine ‘Investigations’
A State Department official based in Ukraine told impeachment investigators Friday that he overheard a conversation between President Donald Trump and a diplomat about “investigations” in Ukraine, according to one lawmaker leaving the closed-door deposition.
At one point during Friday’s impeachment hearing with former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) shut down Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY).
He did so not to silence her, but because she was violating the rules the House approved to guide the impeachment hearing.
Nonetheless, within a matter of minutes, right-wing media, with an assist from Stefanik, spun the incident into a story about Schiff wronging the only Republican woman partaking in the impeachment hearing — a narrative that quickly made its way to President Donald Trump.
The impeachment inquiry rules specify that both Democrats and Republicans have 45-minute blocks of time during which the chair or ranking member and their counsels can ask witnesses questions. Other members are not allowed to ask questions during that time, but do have individual five-minute questioning periods afterward.
However, when the Republican 45-minute block began, intelligence committee ranking member Devin Nunes (R-CA) almost immediately tried to delegate his time to Stefanik. Schiff quickly stepped in to point out that Republicans were violating the rules.
“Under the House Resolution 660, you’re not allowed to yield time except to minority counsel,” Schiff said.
“You’re gagging the young lady from New York?” Nunes replied, indignantly.
“This is the fifth time you have interrupted duly-elected members of Congress,” Stefanik interjected, before the hearing proceeded with Republican counsel Steve Castor asking questions.
(In case you’re interested, Schiff was right about the rules — members can defer their five-minute questioning block to another lawmaker, but the 45-minute blocks are only for the two parties’ ranking members and their staff. Stefanik had her chance to ask Yovanovitch questions later.)
Impeachment hearing ends with fireworks and applause
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) offers concluding remarks as former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch ends her testimony at the impeachment inquiry hearings for President Trump.
Remember the Applause That Followed Marie Yovanovitch Out of That Hearing Room
It was a spontaneous outburst of appreciation for honest government and a spontaneous declaration that the country is tired of being used to feed the limitless ego and boundless psychoses of the vulgar talking yam.
Committee chairman Adam Schiff read the riot act to the administration* and gaveled the meeting to a close. Rep. Mike Conaway, Republican of Texas, began to bellow about how he wanted to speak and then, suddenly, as Yovanovitch got up to leave, the entire room burst into loud applause, drowning out Conaway’s objections. The ovation followed Yovanovitch out of the room. The Democrats on the committee, not having arrived on turnip trucks, joined in the applause.