House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) blocked Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) from allowing another member, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), to use the GOP’s time during the second portion of Friday’s public hearing featuring former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
During the opening of the second portion of Friday’s public impeachment hearing, Nunes attempted to yield his time to Stefanik, prompting yet another interruption from Chairman Schiff.
“The gentlewoman will suspend. The gentlewoman will suspend,” Schiff said as Stefanik began to speak.
“What is the interruption for this time? It is our time,” Stefanik stated.
“The gentlewoman will suspend. You’re not recognized. Mr. Nunes, you and the minority counsel,” Schiff stated.
Nunes pointed out that he recognized Stefanik, but Schiff interrupted again.
“Under House Resolution 660, you are not allowed to yield time except to minority counsel, Schiff stated.
“The Ranking Member yielded time to another member of Congress,” Stefanik interjected.
“That is not accurate,” Schiff stated.
Nunes told Schiff he was “gagging” the congresswoman from New York, and Stefanik tried to question Yovanovitch once again, to no avail.
“The gentlewoman will suspend. You’re not recognized,” Schiff said.
“This is the fifth time you have interrupted members of Congress,” Stefanik stated.
“The gentlewoman is not recognized,” Schiff said, wielding the gavel. “The gentlewoman will suspend.”
“Mr. Chair, we control the time. It has been customary in this committee that whoever controls the time can yield to whomever they wish,” Nunes said.
“If we have members of Congress who have a few questions, it seems appropriate that we be able to let Ms. Stefanik ask her question,” he added.
“Mr. Nunes, you or minority counsel is recognized,” Schiff rebutted.
“Alright,” Nunes said, yielding to Steve Castor.
The moment was largely demonstrative of the concerns Republicans had over the partisan impeachment resolution, which effectively granted Schiff unprecedented power.
Earlier in the hearing, Schiff interrupted Stefanik as she asked whether he would “continue to prohibit witnesses from answering Republican questions as you’ve done in closed hearings and as you did this week.”
“That is not a proper point of order. The gentlewoman will suspend,” Schiff responded, sparking a contentious back and forth: