Republicans Call Out Adam Schiff After He “Apparently Changed The Rules Mid-Hearing”

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Republicans’ Oversight Committee Chief Counsel, Steve Castor, grilled Ambassador William Taylor Wednesday during Democrats’ first public hearing into their “impeachment inquiry” against President Trump.

Amid Castor asking Taylor questions about published stories recounting Ukraine’s activities, during the 2016 presidential election, House Intel Chairman, Adam Schiff (D-CA), interjected to caution the witness that questions might be outside of his knowledge, essentially directing the witness from having to answer questions.

Steve Castor told Ambassador Taylor that some Ukranian officials had said some unkind things on social media about President Trump and that the Commander in Chief was concerned that some elements of the Ukranian establishment were not in favor of Trump and did not support him; they were out to get him.

At that moment, Chairman Schiff interrupted to say, “I’ll allow the question, but….”

Ranking Member of the House Intel Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), called for a parliamentary inquiry and asked, “Are you seriously interrupting our time?”

Schiff responded, “I will allow the question. I won’t dock this from the time. I just want to be clear Ambassador, if you’re able to verify the things the council has asked you in the prerequisite question, that’s fine. Otherwise, questions from the majority or the minority that may assume facts, not in evidence before you– you should be cautioned about that.” (Continued Below)

The room was filled with moans and then, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) called a point of order.

“Chairman, I sat here through the first 45 minutes and literally had an objection to almost the foundation of every question that Mr. Goldman [Schiff’s council] asked, regarding facts not in evidence leading. But House Resolution 660 does not say we are under the federal rules of evidence. 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 gonna change significantly,” Rep. Ratcliffe demanded. [Emphasis added].

Schiff hesitantly backtracked after he apparently changed the rules mid-hearing: “As I said, Mr. Ratcliff, I will allow the question.” (Video Below)

Rep. Nunes chimed in and noted that Rep. Ratcliffe has a question about the rules and asked, “So what are the rules that are going to govern this?”

Schiff arrogantly made it clear than Nunes was not recognized and said that he answered Rep. Ratcliffe’s question, but the Texas Congressman confirmed that Schiff did not answer his question. “You have not answered my question whether or not I should be asserting assumed facts not in evidence or leading objections to questions that are posed from this point forward,” Ratcliffe explained.

“Mr. Ratcliffe, I’ll say it once again: I’m not objecting the question, but I am instructing the witness that they should not presume questions from the majority or the minority, that may represent facts, not in evidence are correct. I have answered your question,” Schiff, the judge, jury, and the prosecutor claimed without actually answering Rep. Ratcliffe’s question.


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Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, Andy Biggs (R-AZ), tweeted: “When asked about published stories recounting Ukraine’s activities during ’16, Taylor said he had no knowledge of the activities. How is it that the acting ambassador to Ukraine is unaware of basic facts regarding Ukraine published in well-known publications? Isn’t that his job?”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) noted, “John Ratcliffe making a great point: Adam Schiff just apparently changed the rules mid-hearing. Virtually every question Democrats asked was leading, hearsay, or some other federal evidence rules violation. Now Schiff seems to be saying he can enforce those rules. Unreal.”

Rep. Biggs also tweeted, “We are so, very far away from an impeachable offense on the part of @POTUS @realDonaldTrump- and moving further away from the Democrats’ target the more the witnesses testify. This hearing has been a nightmare for Chairman Schiff and the impeachment-hungry Democrats”.

(Related: In His Opening Statement, Nunes Rips The Left Over Their Orchestrated “Scorched Earth War” Against Trump)