GOP Rep threatens amendment to force transparency in impeachment process

During the hearing on impeachment inquiry rules, Oklahoma Republican Representative Tom Cole touched on an issue that has bothered conservatives, Republicans and even Tulsi Gabbard: Transparency.

On Thursday, the House held a vote on Democrat-backed rules for an official impeachment inquiry. When it was Cole’s turn to speak, he suggested amending the resolution so that it will give complete transparency throughout the process so the American people can witness more fair proceedings.


“Madam Speaker, if we defeat the previous question, I will amend the resolution to ensure transparency for the American people. My amendment will do three very simple things. First, it will require the chairman of the permanent select committee on intelligence to publically release the transcripts of all depositions and interviews in a timely manner to allow any necessary redactions to protect classified or sensitive information. My colleagues on the other side have been operating in secret and behind closed doors. They’ve been violating standing House rules by preventing member access to documents. Let alone sharing anything with the people that elected them to serve.”

“Second, my amendment requires the intel chairman to transfer all records or materials including exculpatory records or materials to the judiciary committee. The chairman is instructed to again make the necessary redactions to protect and classified or sensitive information. In contrast, the Democratic majority’s resolution lets the chairman choose what information he will share.”

“And finally, my amendment requires the intelligence committee’s records and reports, as well as any material received from any other committee involved, be made available at least 72 hours prior to the judiciary committee considering any articles of impeachment or other recommendations. The resolution before us does absolutely nothing to guarantee that the American people will see this vital information.”

“The proceedures my Democratic colleagues set up for this impeachment inquiry are fundamentally unfair and fundamentally partisan. They reject due process, they reject minority rights, and they reject adequate public disclosure. The American people will not respect a process that is not fair, Madam Speaker. I urge the House to reject this measure, and I urge the House to insist on bipartisan proceedures that respect the rights of the minority, and and the right of due process.”

He tweeted out his speech, noting that the current resolution fails to provide the same protections and due process that were provided to Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon during their impeachment proceedings.

While the dog-and-pony show was underway on the House floor, President Donald Trump was busy tweeting:



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