‘We Will Not Legitimize The Sham Impeachment’: House Minority Leader Responds To Pelosi Announcement
Update: House minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) responded to Monday’s announcement, tweeting “It’s been 34 days since Nancy Pelosi unilaterally declared her impeachment inquiry. Today’s backtracking is an admission that this process has been botched from the start. We will not legitimize the Schiff/Pelosi sham impeachment.”
It’s been 34 days since Nancy Pelosi unilaterally declared her impeachment inquiry.
Today’s backtracking is an admission that this process has been botched from the start.
We will not legitimize the Schiff/Pelosi sham impeachment.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) October 28, 2019
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Monday that a vote will be held this Thursday “that affirms the ongoing, existing investigation that is currently being conducted by our committees” as part of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, according to the Washington Post.
House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-MA) said the vote would “ensure transparency and provide a clear path forward” as their investigations continue.
The resolution will authorize the disclosure of deposition transcripts as well as set forth due process rights for President Trump, according to Pelosi. It will also establish a procedure for open hearings.
Pelosi sent the following letter to House Democrats (emphasis ours):
Dear Democratic Colleague,
For weeks, the President, his Counsel in the White House, and his allies in Congress have made the baseless claim that the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry “lacks the necessary authorization for a valid impeachment proceeding.” They argue that, because the House has not taken a vote, they may simply pretend the impeachment inquiry does not exist.
Of course, this argument has no merit. The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” Multiple past impeachments have gone forward without any authorizing resolutions. Just last week, a federal court confirmed that the House is not required to hold a vote and that imposing such a requirement would be “an impermissible intrusion on the House’s constitutional authority.” More than 300 legal scholars have also refuted this argument, concluding that “the Constitution does not mandate the process for impeachment and there is no constitutional requirement that the House of Representatives authorize an impeachment inquiry before one begins.“
The Trump Administration has made up this argument — apparently out of whole cloth — in order to justify its unprecedented cover-up, withhold key documents from multiple federal agencies, prevent critical witnesses from cooperating, and defy duly authorized subpoenas.
This week, we will bring a resolution to the Floor that affirms the ongoing, existing investigation that is currently being conducted by our committees as part of this impeachment inquiry, including all requests for documents, subpoenas for records and testimony, and any other investigative steps previously taken or to be taken as part of this investigation.
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.
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.
Nobody is above the law.
Here is @SpeakerPelosi’s letter to colleagues announcing vote this week on resolution that affirms ongoing impeachment inquiry and authorizes making hearings, deposition transcripts, etc public pic.twitter.com/NSGM8GpAPE
— Sabrina Siddiqui (@SabrinaSiddiqui) October 28, 2019
Still unclear what’s prompting Dems to hold vote now, especially after significant court ruling on Friday affirming that House doesn’t need to vote to enter into an impeachment inquiry.
Several senior Dems said they had no idea this was coming, are also questioning rationale
— Heather Caygle (@heatherscope) October 28, 2019
The announcement comes after former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman – who served as a deputy to former national security adviser John Bolton – filed a Friday lawsuit seeking guidance from a federal judge as to whether he should follow the advice of the executive branch, which has instructed him not to attend, or Congress, according to the Post.
As the judge has yet to rule on his request, Kupperman declined to appear.
Kupperman was on the line when President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky held a July 25 discussion in which Trump requested investigations into Democratic rival Joe Biden, as well as allegations of Ukrainian election meddling in 2016 to benefit Hillary Clinton.