- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The top Republican on the House intelligence committee said Democrats have put on a “highly staged” impeachment process, calling Democrats liars and hypocrites at the start of the first day of public hearings Wednesday.

Rep. Devin Nunes said Democrats didn’t succeed on their allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials in the 2016 election so they’ve moved on to Ukraine, suggesting they are on a “scorched earth war” against the president, calling this “an impeachment process in search of a crime.”

“We’re supposed to take these people at face value when they trot out a new batch of allegations,” the California Republican mocked.

SEE ALSO: Whistleblower’s identity looms large at House impeachment hearing

He said Chairman Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democrat, should answer Republicans’ questions about why his staff met with the whistleblower ahead of an actual complaint being filed and why he read out a fake phone call concerning President Trump at congressional hearings earlier this year.

Mr. Nunes also noted the whistleblower’s attorney had called for a coup against the president years ago.

He said the House Democrats have been orchestrating a “cult-like atmosphere in the basement of the Capitol” with secret depositions, one-sided leaks, and selective releases.

“Democrat members hid these contacts from Republicans and then lied abbot them to the American people on national television,” Mr. Nunes said.

He said Democrats were hypocrites for not investigating corruption between Ukraine and the Bidens.

Before the hearings began, the president took to Twitter in all caps, urging the public to “read the transcript” and calling his detractors “Never Trumpers!”

Dave Boyer contributed to this report.

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