GOP congressman claims Democrats are like 'leaders of a military coup'

2002

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) is very angry that House Democrats are not letting him dictate how the impeachment inquiry should be run.

A day after the acting White House chief of staff admitted that the Trump administration withheld security aid to Ukraine in an effort to pressure its governor to investigate political opponents, a Republican congressman authored an op-ed on Friday comparing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff to a "military coup." His reasoning: He doesn't like the way they are conducting the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump.

Though Trump has not yet been impeached — the process by which the House of Representatives brings charges against a president who has committed "high crimes and misdemeanors" — Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) claimed that the House Democrats investigating his likely illegal behavior "have more in common with the leaders of a military coup than they think." With a two-thirds vote required in the GOP-controlled Senate for Trump to be removed from office, this process is nothing like a military coup.

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Biggs, a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, has spent the past several weeks pushing a resolution to censure Schiff for describing Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a committee hearing. Though Schiff explicitly stated that he was paraphrasing in "not so many words" the "essence" of what Trump communicated, the Arizona Republican's resolution accused him of having "manufactured" am "egregiously false and fabricated retelling" of the conversation.

In his Friday attack, he accused Schiff and Pelosi of denying Trump "due process" by not opting to let Trump "cross-examine the witnesses against him" and not letting House Republicans call witnesses before the committees deciding whether to impeach. But the constitution makes no such requirement for impeachments — only that a majority of members of the House of Representatives vote to do so.

He also made several demonstrably false claims, arguing that the "Trump administration has released the transcript of the telephone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky" (it released a memorandum that said explicitly that it was "not a verbatim transcript" and repeatedly included "..." to seemingly indicate non-transcribed portions) and that that document showed "Trump did not ask the Ukrainian president to investigate a political opponent" when it showed Trump repeatedly asked him to investigate Joe Biden and his son.

Finally, Biggs suggested that the administration can simply ignore congressional subpoenas if they don't like the impeachment inquiry process. "The Trump administration will certainly provide additional evidence and witnesses in an open and transparent process, but why should they cooperate when the fix is in?" he wrote.

"Democrats are seeking to overthrow Trump, duly elected by the voters, with no regard for rules or due process. They might be politicians, but they have more in common with the leaders of a military coup than they think," Biggs concluded.