Republicans wanted House impeachment inquiry vote — until they got it

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a vote later this week to establish a formal process for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Monday that the House of Representatives will vote later this week on a resolution to set forth a transparent and fair process for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump's alleged high crimes and misdemeanors. But after weeks of complaining about the process, House Republicans reacted angrily to the news.

In a letter to her caucus, Pelosi (D-CA) announced the plan to vote on a "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 noted that this move was being done "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."

Following the statement, the same House Republicans who had demanded a vote and "greater transparency" — some even going so far as to break House rules and storm the secure hearings last week — still continued to attack the Democratic majority and the entire process despite getting much of what they've been demanding.

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House Minority Kevin McCarthy claimed that the "backtracking" was an "admission that this process has been botched from the start." Even now, he vowed, House Republicans would not "legitimize the Schiff/Pelosi sham impeachment."

Trump himself re-tweeted McCarthy's comment.

Minority Whip Steve Scalise suggested that a vote and transparency were nothing more than "formally endorsing" the "Soviet-style impeachment process."

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who led the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) invasion, claimed the announcement was an acknowledgment that the "free-wheeling impeachment inquiry is devoid of rules and lacks legitimacy."

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) mocked the decision in a tweet — retweeted by fellow Republican Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona — as "rich—considering they've spent weeks conducting interviews in secret, leaking their own talking points while locking down any and all information that benefits the President."

Rep. Jody Hice (R-NC) said it was too late, as the "ship has already sailed on having a fair impeachment process" after House Intelligence chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) "poisoned the well on day one."

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) used the same poisoned-well metaphor, calling it "[t]oo little too late."

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) wrote: "Codifying a shame process halfway through doesn't make it any less of a sham process."

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) said that this vote was only necessary because the inquiry was not as "perfect" as the majority claimed.

Rep. Debbie Leskow (R-AZ) tweeted a video of someone "throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks."

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) complained that the vote House Republicans demanded is coming before a vote on the USMCA — a trade deal that still has not been finalized by the White House — and infrastructure improvements. He then deleted the tweet.

Trump's press secretary Stephanie Grisham also attacked the decision, saying the process is "completely and irreversibly illegitimate," even though the White House had demanded this as a condition for any cooperation with the investigation.

With little room to defend Trump's actions, many congressional Republicans have focused on attacking the process. A week after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged this approach, Trump on Monday said he'd rather everyone focus on the case than the process. It does not appear that House Republicans got the message.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.