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Thursday’s contentious public impeachment hearing saw a heated exchange between Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
After Conaway’s allotted five minutes to question State Department official David Holmes expired, Schiff asked Holmes to finish a statement that Schuff claimed Conaway had “cut off.”
“You were cut off when you were talking about [Ambassador to the European Union Gordon] Sondland’s indiscretion, did you want to finish that answer?” Schiff said.
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“Mr. Chairman, that’s patently unfair,” Conaway asserted.
“Mr. Conway …. to interrupt the witnesses as you have done repeatedly,” Schiff said.
Conaway responded, “You’re certainly willing to interrupt me during my five minutes. You’re the only person on this dais that has unlimited time. You have absolutely unlimited. You’re the only that has abused that power and you’re continuing to do that.”
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“We allow the witnesses to answer the question even if those asking the question don’t want to hear the answer,” Schiff said.
“Does that apply to you as well?” Conaway said.
“Yes it does,” Schiff said.
The testimony from Holmes described how he overheard a July 26 phone call between Sondland and President Trump about Ukraine’s willingness to conduct political investigations.
Holmes testified that he eventually understood that “demand” to be linked to a delay in $400 million in military aid. The White House countered, as it has in prior hearings, that the witnesses did not speak to any direct knowledge on the aid hold-up, while GOP lawmakers dismissed the alleged offense in question as nothing more than a “thought crime.”
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Also during the hearing, former National Security Council aide Fiona Hill clashed with Republicans, accusing some lawmakers of embracing the “fictional narrative” that only Ukraine — and not Russia — interfered in the 2016 elections.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.