House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) faced intense criticism on Friday for repeatedly interrupting and refusing to let Republican congresswoman Elise Stefanik speak during the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry hearing of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
During the hearing, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) yielded his time to Stefanik who started to question Yovanovitch before being cut off by Schiff.
Here is the following exchange between Schiff, Nunes, and Stefanik:
Nunes: I know Ms. Stefanik you had a few quick questions for the ambassador. I yield to you Ms. Stefanik.
Stefanik: Thank you, Mr. Nunes. Ambassador Yovanovitch–
Schiff: The gentlewoman will suspend. The gentlewoman will suspend.
Stefanik: What is the interruption for this time?
Schiff: The gentlewoman will suspend, you’re not recognized. Mr. Nunes–
Nunes: I just recognized Ms. Stefanik.
Schiff: Under the House Res. 660 you are not allowed to yield time except to counsel.
Stefanik: The ranking member to another member of Congress.
Schiff: Nope, nope. That is not accurate.
Nunes: You’re gagging the gentlewoman from New York?
Stefank: That is accurate. Ambassador Yovanovitch I want to thank you for being here today–
Schiff: The gentlewoman will suspend, you’re not recognized.
Stefanik: This is the fifth time that you have elected members of Congress, duly-elected members of Congress–
Schiff: The gentlewoman will suspend.
Nunes: Mr. Chair, we control the time and customary to this committee, who ever controls the time can yield to whoever they wish. If we have members of Congress who have a few questions, it seems appropriate that we would let Ms. Stefanik ask her question.
Schiff: Mr. Nunes, you or minority counsel are recognized.
Stefanik tweeted out a video clip of the incident, writing: “Once again, Adam Schiff flat out REFUSES to let duly elected Members of Congress ask questions to the witness, simply because we are Republicans. His behavior is unacceptable and he continues to abuse his Chairmanship.”
Earlier in the hearing, Stefanik tweeted out another instance in which Schiff again interrupted her, writing: “How many times can Adam Schiff say “the Gentlewoman is NOT recognized”? He clearly has NO interest in letting Republicans have any say in the impeachment hearings. Watch him interrupt us multiple times and refuse to yield for our parliamentary questions”
The Washington Times reported, “According to the rules governing the impeachment inquiry, only the chairman and ranking member — or their respective counsel — are allowed to ask questions during the first 45-minute questioning blocks.”
Reactions to the exchange were mixed online.
Those on the political Left were quick to point out that Stefanik broke the rules while those in the center and on the political Right took issue with Schiff’s tone and the way that he handled the situation.
Daily Mail Editor David Martosko tweeted: “Schiff shushing Stefanik wasn’t a good look for him. If a Republican chairman did that to a female Democrat, there would be hell to pay.”
Schiff shushing Stefanik wasn't a good look for him. If a Republican chairman did that to a female Democrat, there would be hell to pay. https://t.co/r6W6kRDL5v
— David Martosko (@dmartosko) November 15, 2019
Far-left activist Charlotte Clymer tweeted: “Rep. Stefanik deserves an Oscar for that playacting just now. Gotta love that fabricated outrage for the cameras over settled committee rules.”
Rep. Stefanik deserves an Oscar for that playacting just now. Gotta love that fabricated outrage for the cameras over settled committee rules.#ImpeachmentHearing
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) November 15, 2019