Nunes complains Democrats adding extra time for questioning witnesses

House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesKoch campaign touts bipartisan group behind ag labor immigration bill Hillicon Valley: Apple, Facebook defend encryption during Senate grilling | Tech legal shield makes it into trade deal | Impeachment controversy over phone records heats up | TikTok chief cancels Capitol Hill meetings The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today MORE (R-Calif.) complained on Tuesday that committee Democrats were giving themselves extra time to question witnesses during the fourth open impeachment inquiry hearing.

Nunes also criticized committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffMcConnell, White House lawyer huddle on impeachment strategy House GOP lawmaker wants Senate to hold 'authentic' impeachment trial Live coverage: House panel debates articles of impeachment MORE (D-Calif.) — again — for not allowing the anonymous whistleblower that originally raised concerns about a July phone call between President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to testify.

Following a 15-minute period of questioning by Schiff and Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman, Schiff turned questioning over to Nunes, at which point Nunes inquired whether committee Republicans should “expect anymore of these magical 15 minute motions.”

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Schiff pointed to House Resolution 660 to justify the longer time spent questioning the witnesses, a rule that according to Schiff allows for “successive rounds of up to 45 minutes, so this is part of the prescribed procedure under the House resolution.”

Nunes noted that the use of the rule by the Democrats illustrated “how out of control this process has become,” saying that the committee Democrats should have had “the decency to tell us that you are going to have 15 minutes more.”

Nunes strongly condemned the overall impeachment inquiry, calling it “a drug deal” that Democrats are “trying to sell.”

“You can go four hours, we can go five hours, we’ll give you all you want, you can keep digging if you want, the deeper the hole you dig, I think the more viewers will turn off, because people just aren’t buying the drug deal that you guys are trying to sell,” Nunes told Schiff.

Schiff and Nunes, who sat directly next to each other in the committee room, did not look at each other during their back-and-forth.

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Nunes also used this time to call on Schiff to allow the whistleblower to testify, something Nunes has repeatedly asked for throughout the impeachment inquiry hearings. 

“These are two witnesses, your witnesses, that you called into depose, we still asked for witnesses that you did not call into depose, including the whistleblower, who you and others claim not to know,” Nunes said. “We still need to get to the bottom of that, because he is the most important material fact witness to how this whole mess began in the first place.”

Schiff last week announced that the whistleblower would not testify, saying this would not be necessary due to further evidence gathered from other sources.

Read more live updates from the hearing here.