Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) forced House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) to address his plan to minimize the voice of Republican lawmakers during Wednesday’s impeachment hearing – by monopolizing the time – forcing the chairman to address it prior to his opening statement.
Ratcliffe forced a visibly irritated Schiff to outline his plan under the new set of rules – rules which give him unprecedented power.
“Mr. Chairman this is our first hearing under these new set of rules – House resolution 660 gives you the discretion to allow yourself and the Ranking Member periods of extended questions up to 45 minutes each before other members are allowed to ask questions,” Ratcliffe said.
“If possible, we’d like to know the rules of engagement before we get started. Have you made a decision yet as to how many 45 minute rounds you will allow yourself and the ranking member?” he asked.
“I have not, as we informed the minority yesterday, we will see how the first round goes, how much material we have to get through. At that point, the Chair will announce the period, if there is a period of the second round which may be up to 45 minutes, or we’ll go straight to 5-minute questions by members,” he said.
As Breitbart News reported, Democrats deliberately designed the first hour of the impeachment hearing to be a “blockbuster,” dominated by Democrats.
“After the Democrats finish their initial 45 minutes, it then goes to the House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes or a staff lawyer before it opens up to other members of Congress for five minutes each,” Breitbart News reported.
“House Democrats control the committee, which means that they go first. It also means the first hour for the most part, it will be entirely Adam Schiff or a staff lawyer if he so delegates the lawyer to ask questions pursuing the line of inquiry in building the case,” NBC News’s Geoff Bennett explained.
“I’m told by a source familiar — a Democratic source familiar — that if Americans only tune in to the first hour that they will hear an earful. The first hour I am told is designed to be a blockbuster,” Bennett added.
Watch the hearing below: