By Erielle Davidson – TheFederalist
Following a unipartisan House vote to approve a resolution “formalizing” the procedures of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, House Republicans held a blistering press conference Thursday afternoon where they detailed the manipulation, dishonesty, and selfishness that continue to drive Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Cal.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Cal.) grand “impeachment inquiry.” The Democrats lost the 2016 presidential election, and as evidenced by their rather pompous vote yesterday, they have not yet recovered.
The House GOP responded with the sort of righteous indignation that would be expected from a party that has witnessed two charade-like investigations unfold in three years — one based on a laughably far-fetched “dossier,” the other premised upon an event that never took place, as is clear from publicly released transcripts.
Despite the circumstances, it was arguably one of the House GOP’s finer moments, as it forcefully articulated the extent to which the impeachment inquiry resembles a corrupt circus. As various GOP members reiterated, the House vote on Thursday was another congressional Democrat attempt to undo the results of an election whose winner they have detested since November 9, 2016. Below are the key takeaways from a bright spot in an otherwise political hellscape.
1. The Only Bipartisan Vote Was the Vote Against the Impeachment Inquiry
As House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy reiterated at the opening of the press conference, “The only bi-partisan vote on that floor was against.” Indeed, the breakdown of the vote indicated that both Democrats and Republicans voted against the resolution, while not one Republican voted in favor.
McCarthy quoted Pelosi’s past statements on impeachment, which included the sentiments that impeachment was horribly divisive for a country and should be performed along bipartisan lines, not as a political cudgel. As Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., of the House Foreign Affairs Committee sarcastically quipped, “In a way, you could say congratulations to Nancy Pelosi. She wanted a bipartisan vote on her impeachment inquiry resolution. She got it.”
2. From Its Start, the ‘Inquiry’ Has Been Fundamentally Unjust
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the House whip, labeled the entire endeavor a “Soviet-style impeachment” process, and he’s not far off. In past impeachment processes, whether Bill Clinton or Richard Nixon was at the center, the most basic elements were far more transparent and allowed more fairness to both sides. As Scalise dutifully explained, “Both sides were treated equally. Both sides could call witnesses. President’s legal counsel was in the room, not at the discretion of the chair, but because it’s fair.”
As Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wis., chairwoman of the House Republican Caucus, noted, Pelosi and Schiff have run an objectively unfair operation and have been doing so long before this vote, only now Pelosi’s resolution is an attempt to “codify” those very unjust maneuvers. But, as Cheney noted, “This is a process that has been fundamentally tainted.”
She explained, “The Democrats cannot fix this process. They’ve now created a record over the course of the last several weeks with witnesses they selected.” Cheney continued. “We know that there were circumstances where Chairman Schiff told witnesses not to answer questions that our members were asking. We know there have been circumstances where our members have attempted to go read transcripts, and they’ve been told by staff members that they’re not allowed to go read those transcripts.”
As Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, elaborated, “For 38 days, we’ve witnessed a one-sided investigation in the most secret room in the United States Capitol, without an opportunity to call witnesses on our side, without White House Counsel present.” He announced emphatically, “This defies historic precedent.”
Zeldin later weighed in on the egregious lack of transparency. “Isn’t it kind of curious that you don’t know what’s going on today with Tim Morrison in his deposition? Why is it that you don’t have the information, the opening statements?” Zeldin then called for a full release of the transcripts from the closed-door hearings. “On behalf of our constituents, on behalf of the American public, for everyone who’s pissed about being misled by Adam Schiff and his cohorts hiding in the bunker of the capitol basement, release the darn transcripts.”
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, emphasized the importance of adhering to an honest process when investigating substantive allegations and dismissed Democrats’ allegations that the GOP is hyper-focused on procedural matters. “Process leads to substance. When you screw up the process, then you’re looking for an answer you’ve already determined.”
3. House Democrats’ Witch Hunt Is Harming U.S. National Security
Given the manpower needed to carry out the “impeachment inquiry,” all resources stemming from the House Intelligence Committee — or, in Cheney’s words, from “the single most important committee…when it comes to the national security of the nation” — will need to be redirected to investigating the July 25 phone call, for which we already have a transcript in which no quid pro quo is to be found.
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