Every impeachment hearing follows a certain protocol.

The 2019 impeachment hearing by the House Intelligence Committee into the activities of President Donald Trump opens with two 45-minute blocks of time reserved for comments and questions by the ranking members of each party (Democrat and Republican) and their respective counsels.

The ranking Republican member of the committee is U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes; the Republican counsel is Steve Castor.

The ranking Democratic member of the committee is U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff; the Democratic counsel is Daniel Goldman.

Only these four members of the hearing are allowed to speak in the 45 minute blocks.

The resolution passed by the House clearly states that during these blocks, these four interrogators cannot yield their time to another House member.

Hence, when Nunes tried to yield his time to U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, Adam Schiff refused to allow her to speak because she was violating the rules set down for the hearing.

After the leaders’ questioning ends, the remaining members (12 Democrats and eight Republicans including Stefanik) are given five minutes each to ask questions or to make comments. It is during this portion of the proceedings that she is able to pose her inquiries.

When the committee members were dismissed for the day, Elise Stefanik tweeted that Adam Schiff refused to let her ask questions because she was a Republican.

And the media spun it into sexist behavior on Schiff’s part.

Everyone in the hearing knows the rules including Nunes and Stefanik.

The wise viewer will see through Stefanik’s plan to play the role of a neglected, Republican, female member of the committee.

Stefanik should know she is doing a disservice to all women by accusing Schiff of bias to garner support for her defense of Trump.

Ellen Anderson


Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(26) comments

Holmes -- the real one

"Dabney Carr"

It's been soooooo long. We're still waiting for your response telling us just where in "the Constitution, aka the supreme law of the land," there is justification for Stefanik's defying the rules.

Could you also, in that reply, please demonstrate where in the Constitution that it sanctifies bribing a foreign government to produce dirt on your political rival. We are eagerly awaiting your demonstration of Constitutional expertise.

You left out that part where you explain just where in the Constitution that it says Elise can defy the rules.


While Ranking Member Nunes had already outed himself as a shady character during earlier committee deliberations (and admitted same by recusing himself from his then-chairman's role), Congresswoman Stefanik has now revealed the full dimension of her personal ambition, hitching her wagon to the Trumpstar in the belief that the president will not only survive impeachment, but will obtain re-election, and she will then enjoy the bright glow of his approval, with all its immediate advantages. IMHO it's a dangerous political calculus for her, given the portrait she paints of herself as a machiavellian political operative.


Just as those participating in sports are expected to be familiar with the rules governing their games, representatives on House committees should be familiar with--and respectful of-- those committees' rules. Congressman Nunes' and Congresswomen Stefanik's complaints about the chairman's actions betray their willful ignorance, and lack of integrity.

Stripped of routes to question the gravity of the president's actions, Republican members are increasingly forced to resort to side issue complaints such as purported order and decorum breaches. Such tactics only shine brighter light upon the fecklessness of defending Trump's extortionate tactics with the Ukrainian leader, and the obstructionist tactics that only deepen the mire into which he is careening.

Holmes -- the real one

Eloquently stated, Newsjunkie39a.

I totally agree.


This is funny!! You made my day. Ignorance. Good lord.

hermit thrush

the fact that you have no substantive rebuttal to offer completely gives away the game.

you're on team elise no matter what, the facts be [bleep]ed.

Holmes -- the real one

Ahh, Kevin Beary.

That's a remarkable collection of nonsense you have there. The Hebrew expression would be Shtuyot Bemitz (nonsense in juice) or sometimes Shtuyot Bemitz Agvaniyot (nonsense with a tomato juice chaser).

OK we get it. You reject climate science because only God can control the weather. So, is bringing up Trump's repeated crimes and what increasingly looks to be treasonous activities equivalent in your mind to trying to "illicitly remove him from office"? What in the world prompts this kind of thinking?

Kevin Beary

The impeachment inquiry hearing was a show hearing. The Democrats in charge of the hearing had decided beforehand that President Trump was guilty of impeachable offenses and they formulated the rules to give a sham validation to their conviction. The resolution establishing the rules for the inquiry was passed without the approval of House Republicans, who unanimously voted against it. All Democratic representatives save two voted for it. Since Trump's election, the Democrats have tried to illicitly remove him from office. The hearing is the latest in their series of failed attempts to do so.

Rep. Stefanik refused to be intimidated by the show-hearing procedures established by the Democrats and sought to question a witness. She is to be commended not condemned for her courage and integrity. NYS Republicans generally keep a notoriously low profile so her intrepidness is all the more noteworthy.

The rules of the hearing should have been decided on jointly by both Democrats and Republicans. But such a joint decision would have deprived the Democrats of their ability to use the hearing to calumniate the president and to attempt to remove him from office.

Even the Democrats admit they have no candidate capable of defeating Trump in 2020. In a delirium of desperation they have decided to impeach him, though they know full well that a Senate trial will be a disaster for them and that the Senate will never vote to remove the president. But still they lurch onward, drunk on their House majority and their own propaganda.

hermit thrush

orwell couldn't have written it better.

blatant rule-breaking is integrity.

it is sad to see what happens to people's brains after they bend the knee to trump.

hermit thrush

Under this standard, nothing Trump does—no federal crime, no act of corruption, no attack on the institutions of American democracy—can be considered immoral or unjust, so long as he retains his core political support. Neither can other institutions—Congress, the courts, or the press—be considered legitimate if they defy Trump, the only legitimate vessel of popular will. It is a quasi-religious doctrine of infallibility, backed by the power of the federal government and the president’s allies in Congress and the media.


Farmer Liz

Kevin Beary, whether you like the rules or not, and no matter who formulated them, the committee members who agreed to serve had agreed to abide by them. Stefanik made the decision to defy those rules. If she will defy rules on the inquiry committee, what other rules will she ignore using her office? Moreover, your assertion that Schiff was "intimidating" her played right into her and Nunes' hands. You fell for it, and now you are trying to justify it. Schiff was following protocol; Stefanik was not. Why is that so hard to understand?

Farmer Liz

Per FactCheck.org:

Questions to Witnesses

The posts also claim that the “rules do not allow any witnesses to be questioned unless the question is approved by Adam Schiff.” Schiff, a Democrat, is chairman of the intelligence committee.

There is no language in the resolution that requires such approval.

The resolution indicates that Schiff and Rep. Devin Nunes, the highest-ranking Republican on the committee, shall be given equal time to question a witness — which may be conducted by staff — and then the committee “shall proceed with questioning under the five-minute rule” established in the Rules of the House of Representatives. The corresponding section of the House rules states that “each committee shall apply the five-minute rule during the questioning of witnesses in a hearing until such time as each member of the committee who so desires has had an opportunity to question each witness.”

In other words, both Republicans and Democrats on the committee will be afforded time to ask witnesses questions. And, as we said, there is no requirement that members have questions approved by Schiff first.

Dabney Carr

Perhaps its because she read the US Constitution, aka the supreme law of the land, something many members of Congress have never heard of!

hermit thrush

one of the funniest running jokes in politics is how conservatives endlessly prattle on about "the constitution" only to reveal that they have no idea what's inside it.

Dabney Carr

have you read the US Constitution??!!

hermit thrush

we could ask you the same question but the answer has already been made clear.


Have YOU read the Constitution, Comrade? How many words are there? Name them. Where does it say that Trump is immune from investigation for crimes?

Holmes -- the real one

"Dabney Carr"

You left out that part where you explain just where in the Constitution that it says Elise can defy the rules.

hermit thrush

it's in article viii, section eleventy.

"republicans shall doeth as they please, and democrats shall shut up."

tbh this is really an under-discussed aspect of the founders' genius. to have written that before the two parties came into existence -- in fact, before we had any political parties at all -- is an incredible feat of foresight.

Holmes -- the real one

I had a most remarkable conversation with a local person who felt the need to unburden themselves to me while passing through the Public Square in Watertown. (Who knows, it may even have been “Dabney Carr”)

This person began by saying, “Aren’t you so glad that President Trump pardoned the Navy Seals.”

“Why exactly are you glad?” I replied.

“Well, they’re Americans and they were just doing their job.”

“I thought that there was something about war crimes. Did you hear anything about that?”

“Whatever they did is exactly the same thing that they all do. I know for a fact that the guys that were in charge did the same things, and worse.”

“Oh my, really? Which news source did you get that from?”

“You mean the media? There is no media source that you can trust. They’re all corrupt.”

“So where did you learn that?”

“From this guy on YouTube. But I know who to trust. Those Democrats are still covering up that Obama was born in Kenya.”

"Did he say that the Navy leadership had also committed war crimes?"

"Look, I just know. Things like that -- it's obvious when you pay attention."

“So what did that guy specifically say about war crimes? Was there any mention of breaking the rules of the Geneva Convention?”

“All the guy did was take a picture. There’s nothing wrong with that. No foreign country should be telling us what we can do in a war.”

“I thought that it was that we agreed with other nations that we would all follow these rules. Shouldn’t there be consequences if someone doesn’t follow the rules?”

“Our President said it was perfectly fine what they did. That’s enough for me. Oh, look at that lady jaywalking. She held up a whole line of traffic. The square has enough traffic problems as it is. She should get a ticket.”

Real conversation. Total stranger to me. Happened yesterday (Tuesday) while I was walking through the square.

hermit thrush

it is no small miracle that human civilization has made it this far without collapsing.


She read the Constitution? How do you know that? Did you watch her? Your statement is either a lie or hearsay and inadmissible. Just ask Nunes.

If she read it, why did she refuse to follow it, Comrade? Is freedom of speech only for worshipers of Putin's puppet? (We know they spit on the rule of law.)


Here comes the name caller...Comrade. I am of the belief you are the Russian troll sir. Just here to continually divide the electorate. We see through your charade. Stefanik is so far ahead of the game. But hey, let's keep the meetings in a basement with a "whistleblower" who has turned out to be a farce. LAW, how ironic? I believe you were on here throwing Kavanaugh under the bus before any hearing...Guilty until presumed innocent. How did that go?

hermit thrush

with a "whistleblower" who has turned out to be a farce.

the dude named airball strikes again. virtually every single claim in the whistleblower's complaint has turned out to be true. what must be going on in a person's head to call that a farce.

hermit thrush

excellent letter.

not so for the headline, however. stefanik surely knew perfectly well that she was breaking rules when she pulled her little stunt. breaking the rules was the whole point. she wanted to create a fake conflict so she could get her face plastered on tv. it worked.

what does it say about her supporters that they love this dishonest stunt she pulled?

Holmes -- the real one


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