GOP Congress members have renewed criticism of the impeachment inquiry process on Oct. 21 as the House of Representatives prepare to hear from more witnesses behind closed doors.
The secrecy surrounding the depositions in the House Democrat-run probe over President Donald Trumps call with Ukraine has drawn particular ire from Republican lawmakers who are concerned about the lack of transparency and apparent absence of due process.
During an appearance on Fox News on Oct. 21, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) defended the need to highlight the “unfair partisan process” observed during the impeachment inquiry, saying that this probe is unlike any other in history.
“On process: This is not your average investigation,” Jordan said. “This is about impeaching the president of the United States 13 months before an election because theyre afraid hes going to win in 2020, which I think is going to happen.”
He rejected the argument by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) that closed-door sessions are necessary. Schiff defended his committees closed-door secrecy on Oct. 15 saying that the House was playing the role of an independent counsel or special prosecutor in the inquiry after the Justice Department refused a referral to investigate.
“Try taking that argument to the American people,” Jordan said. “See if they think Adam Schiff is an independent special counsel and a fair fact finder here. So that is why this process is so wrong. The American people, they get fairness, they understand fairness, and they instinctively know what Adam Schiff is doing, what Nancy Pelosi is doing, is not fair.”
“Rep. Jordan: Its been very clear. No quid pro quo.'”https://t.co/Tnq5yrlqEa
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) October 21, 2019
Likewise, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also slammed Schiffs explanation for closed-door hearings during a press conference on Oct. 18, saying that Schiff is “not a prosecutor.”
“Adam Schiff is not a prosecutor, and hes not from the executive branch. Hes a member of Congress, and that is a blatant abuse of power,” McCarthy said.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) took to Twitter on Oct. 21 to criticize the Democrats for their “super secret” depositions that were being held in the Capitol basement.
“This PROCESS has been a joke & the SUBSTANCE has been NOTHING to impeach POTUS for,” Zeldin wrote. “This coup attempt will fail!”
Heading back to DC after Army Reserve duty this past weekend. Tomorrow AM, Adam Schiffs super secret (yet unclassified) depositions in the Capitol basement resume.
This PROCESS has been a joke the SUBSTANCE has been NOTHING to impeach POTUS for. This coup attempt will fail!
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) October 21, 2019
Meanwhile, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) laid out issues with the way the House Democrats have conducted their inquiry, such as the lack of co-equal subpoena power for Republicans and the Democrats failure to follow congressional norms in a series of videos on his social media.
“Myth Number One: Republicans enjoy the same subpoena power that the minority party held during the impeachment inquiry of Bill Clinton in the 105th Congress,” Collins said in one of his videos.
“Thats just totally false because right now all that is happening is Adam Schiff and others on the majority side, with the blessing of Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi is issuing subpoenas as they want. The minority has no powers to issue subpoenas under the current rules because we are not actually in an inquiry,” he continued.
Myth: Republicans have the same subpoena power now as Democrats had during Clintons impeachment.
Fact: Republicans cant subpoena witnesses or documents. They cant even force a committee vote on subpoenas.#MythBustingMonday pic.twitter.com/otG9ZetJPP
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) October 21, 2019
Despite facing criticism from Republicans and the White House in recent weeks, Pelosi (D-Calif.) has remained adamant that a vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry is not necessary while Schiff has continued to defend his handling of the investigation.
In a letter on Oct. 8, the White House told the House that it wouldnt participate in the inquiry because it “violates fundamental fairness and constitutionally mandated due process.”
“You have denied the President the right to cross-examine witnesses, to call witnesses, to receive tRead More – Source