House Republicans declared on Monday, Oct. 28, the Democrats’ idea to bring a resolution on impeachment proceedings to the floor on Thursday demonstrates how the whole process was a sham.
From the beginning of the impeachment process, Republicans have demanded transparency, arguing that the process is illegitimate, as there was no floor vote to authorize it.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said the resolution “proves everything we were saying was correct.”
“Did you ever get to cross-examine? Did you get to have a witness, to bring a witness in?” he asked, adding that he doesn’t believe House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) should be leading the investigation. He said the new measure “now proves that they were wrong from the start.”
McCarthy stated Pelosi should have launched the impeachment inquiry with a vote weeks ago when he sent a letter to her detailing the rules. Instead, Republicans have been denied any fair process.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) blasted Democrats for only members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, House Intelligence Committee, and House Oversight and Reform Committee could attend the depositions. He doesn’t believe the new measure will lead to any fairness.
“From what we’re hearing, it sounds like all they’re trying to do is codify the Soviet-style impeachment process that they’ve been running where they don’t let both sides called witnesses,” he said. “It’s all Adam Schiff’s personal show to try to build a case of innuendo because they don’t have any real facts.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is a member of the House Judiciary Committee; he led the Republicans to storm the secret meetings last week. He believes the pressure they have applied is the reason Democrats have decided to bring a resolution to the floor.
“I think that Nancy Pelosi is not someone who usually calls audibles, and the fact that she’s calling an audible here, adopting as her message for the week something that she referred to just weeks ago as a Republican talking point, indicates that they were feeling the heat,” he told The Hill.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) has been insisting on a fair process since the inquiry began.
“We’ll see what the resolution looks like, as I’ve been saying this entire time with regard to the ability for the minority party to call witnesses, to have an equal allocation of staffing, for all of the transcripts to be released to not just members of Congress but to the American public,” he said.
“For the president to be able to have council, president to cross-examine witnesses, present evidence, exert executive privilege when appropriate, and more—there’s a lot that I have been talking about this entire process that should have been corrected a few weeks ago,” he added.
Zeldin said current rules prohibit members attending the hearings from speaking about witnesses’ testimony, yet Adam Schiff is leaking selective information on television, in effect breaking his own rules.
“One of the concerns that I have with the cherry-picked leaks and withholding of key information is that I am abiding by these rules,” he said. “I am told that if I don’t abide by the rules it’s a violation of House rules, and an ethics complaint can be filed, and the people who are lecturing me about what the rules are and what the consequences are, then go on to a Sunday morning news show and then leak the substance of information.”
Pelosi penned a letter to her caucus on Monday, denying the impeachment vote is required to legalize the proceedings but suggests it may help them against any attempts by the White House of non-cooperation.
“This resolution establishes the procedure for hearings that are open to the American people, authorizes the disclosure of deposition transcripts, outlines procedures to transfer evidence to the Judiciary Committee as it considers potential articles of impeachment, and sets forth due process rights for the President and his Counsel,” she wrote.
“We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump Administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives,” she added.