McCarthy calls on Pelosi to suspend impeachment inquiry

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthySunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate After police rip Trump for Jan. 6, McCarthy again blames Pelosi Capitol Police asked to arrest the maskless MORE (R-Calif.) is calling on Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Justice Department says Trump's tax returns should be released | Democrats fall short of votes for extending eviction ban House adjourns for recess without passing bill to extend federal eviction ban Photos of the Week: Olympic sabre semi-finals, COVID-19 vigil and a loris MORE (D-Calif.) to suspend the impeachment inquiry launched by Democrats.

In a letter sent to Pelosi on Thursday, the California Republican — who is one of President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement MORE’s closest allies and staunchest defenders in Congress — said the impeachment inquiry has lacked transparency.


McCarthy also said Democrats have failed to answer “basic questions” on the inquiry.  

"I am writing to request you suspend all efforts surrounding your 'impeachment inquiry' until transparent and equitable rules and procedures are established to govern the inquiry, as is customary," McCarthy wrote in his letter.

The Republican leader noted that there has only been three instances when "the full House has moved to formally investigate whether sufficient grounds exist for the impeachment of a sitting President."

“I should hope that if such an extraordinary step were to be contemplated a fourth time it would be conducted with an eye towards fairness, objectivity, and impartiality. Unfortunately, you have given no clear indication as to how your impeachment inquiry will proceed — including whether key historical precedents or basic standards of due process will be observed,” he added. 

The letter comes after Pelosi last week announced her support for a formal impeachment inquiry to look into allegations from a whistleblower that Trump tried to push Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Supreme Court and blind partisanship ended the illusion of independent agencies Missed debt ceiling deadline kicks off high-stakes fight Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session MORE, a front-runner in the Democratic race to challenge him in 2020. 

President Trump thanked McCarthy in a tweet and suggested Republicans will win back the House next year.

"Leader McCarthy, we look forward to you soon becoming Speaker of the House. The Do Nothing Dems don’t have a chance!" he said in a post on Twitter. 

In his letter, McCarthy had also called out Democrats for accelerating their efforts since launching an impeachment inquiry. 

Actions taken by House Democrats so far have included issuing a subpoena for documents from Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiCapitol insurrection hearing exposes Trumpworld delusions DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's riot lawsuit Bob Dole: 'I'm a Trumper' but 'I'm sort of Trumped out' MORE.

Democrats are also threatening to subpoena the White House for documents on Trump's dealings with Ukraine as part of their impeachment inquiry, with three House panels signaling Wednesday they plan to move forward with the effort unless they get the material.

“The swiftness and recklessness with which you have proceeded has already resulted in committee chairs attempting to limit minority participation in scheduled interviews, calling into question the integrity of such an inquiry,” he wrote. 

Among the answers being demanded by McCarthy were whether Pelosi plans to hold a floor vote authorizing the inquiry and whether the full House will be involved in “each critical step of this inquiry, including defining its scope and establishing its rules and procedures.”

McCarthy also wanted Pelosi to answer whether she will grant co-equal subpoena power for ranking members of committees and whether the president’s counsel can attend hearings, object to the admittance of evidence, and recommend witnesses or cross-examine witnesses.  

“By answering ‘no’ to any of the above, you would be acting in direct contradiction to all modern impeachment inquiries of a sitting president. By answering ‘no’ to any of the above, you would be denying the President the bare minimum rights granted to his predecessors,” he continued. "By answering ‘no’ to any of the above, you would create a process completely devoid of any merit or legitimacy.”

McCarthy went on to note that Pelosi had vowed to “be fair to the president.” 

”If those words are taken to be sincere, the American people deserve assurance that basic standards of due process will be present,” he said. 

“Given the enormity of the question at hand – the removal of a duly-elected sitting president – anything less than a thorough, transparent, and fair process would represent a supreme insult to our Constitution and the millions of Americans who rely on their voices being heard through our democratic system of government.”

-- Updated at 1:25 p.m.