During a tense House Rules Committee meeting on Wednesday, the committee’s Democrat majority repeatedly used “nickel-and-diming” tactics to crush attempts by their Republican colleagues to inject some fairness into the party’s so-called “impeachment resolution.”
All Republicans had sought was to pass some amendments that would make the “impeachment resolution” more fair. As it stands, the resolution grants House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff the powers of an independent counsel, when in reality he’s no such thing.
As a result, Schiff gets to determine if Republican witness requests are relevant, he gets to control who gets subpoenaed and he gets to pick and choose what information gets released to the public.
— Super Elite Space Force Pilot Cosmonaut ??? (@joyreaper) October 31, 2019
Confronted by Republicans’ concerns over these unprecedented powers, Democrats chose to completely dismiss them, preferring instead to leave in place a resolution that clearly favors the majority party over the minority party.
“Time and time again, in a nickel-and-diming kind of way, you continue to build into the process, for the first time in American history, advantages to the majority,” committee member Rep. Rob Woodall tried to point out to no avail. “And [Rules Committee ranking member Rep. Tom] Cole time and time again is giving you an opportunity to correct that in a way that harms you not at all but improves the process substantially, and I’m just waiting for you to say ‘yes’ for an answer.”
But not once during the entire meeting did Democrats say “yes.”
Listen to his full statement below:
An amendment put forth by Cole would have stuck to precedent by rightly granting equal subpoena power to Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, a Republican.
“[T]he Nixon and Clinton resolutions allowed subpoenas to be issued by the chairman and the ranking minority member ‘acting jointly,’” the Lawfare Institute notes. “If either declined to act, the individual proposing the subpoena could issue it alone unless the other requested the issue be referred to the full committee for a vote.”
Democrats rejected this amendment on the clearly false basis that the standards they’ve set forth are no different than the standards applied during the Clinton and Nixon impeachments.
They also rejected another amendment by Cole that would have granted committee members the right to “yield their time to any member of their choosing.”
“It’s a significant deviation from historical precedent and frankly I think silly to tell a member of Congress that they can yield to an unelected staff member but they can’t yield to another member on the very committee they’re on,” he said of this rejection.
And they rejected an amendment by Woodall that would have also stuck to precedent by rightly removing the Intelligence Committee from the impeachment process.
“The impeachment proceedings against both Presidents Nixon and Clinton began with a vote by the full House of Representatives directing the Judiciary Committee ‘to investigate fully and completely whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its constitutional power to impeach’ the president in question,” Lawfare further notes.
But in this case, Judiciary Committee has been sidelined so that wannabe grand inquisitor Adam Schiff can run the show.
Democrats reportedly rejected a total of 18 amendments.
Speaking later on Wednesday afternoon about the endless rejections, Cole described the proceeding as an unfair and unjust process.
“I think this is a sad day for the Rules Committee and for the institution of the House of Representatives,” he said. “We’re meeting here today to set forth a process for impeaching a president of the United States.”
“In my view, it’s not a fair process, it’s not an open process, it’s certainly not been a transparent process. It’s been limited and closed. And frankly I this we’re moving toward a preordained result,” he added.
Listen to his full remarks below:
No matter how much Republicans tried to articulate their points, the Democrats simply refused to listen. In some cases, they even mocked their colleagues.
The rudest behavior reportedly came from Rep. Alcee Hastings, whom Fox News notes was himself “impeached and removed from the federal bench in 1989 for taking bribes.”
“Hastings seemed to relish Democrats’ ability to ram through their impeachment rules, telling Georgia Republican Rep. Rob Woodall that his substantive arguments would essentially be a waste of time,” Fox reported.
“Mr. Woodall, the Latin word that we use as a derivative, ‘majority,’ came from ‘major,'” Hastings reportedly laughed in mockery of Republicans. “The Latin word for ‘minority’ came from ‘minor.’ You understand?”
As for committee chair Jim McGovern, he accused his Republican colleagues of trying to prevent Congress from getting to the so-called “truth.”
“The bottom line is we want to get to the truth, and I think what we are seeing here are attempts to try to find ways to be able to delay us getting to the truth or actually blocking us from getting to the truth,” he alleged. “This is a hearing on trying to get a process in place that I think is transparent, that has dignity and respects this institution. I think that’s what we are doing.”
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