House Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment

House Republicans are calling for the committee leaders overseeing the impeachment inquiry to release the guidelines and regulations under which depositions and transcriptions of testimony are being conducted. 

“We write to demand the release of the rules that are governing the depositions and transcribed interviews being conducted by the joint action of your three committees,” nearly 80 GOP lawmakers said in their Friday letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Democrats hammer abuse of power charge, allege Trump put self over country Female impeachment managers say American public know a 'rigged' trial when they see one MORE (D-Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelUS officials, world leaders arrive in Israel for World Holocaust Forum  House Democrats may call new impeachment witnesses if Senate doesn't Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request MORE (D-N.Y.) and Oversight and Reform Committee acting Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyHouse Oversight committee asks DHS for information on family separation Overnight Energy: Appeals court tosses kids' climate suit | California sues Trump over fracking | Oversight finds EPA appointees slow-walked ethics obligations Oversight finds EPA political appointees slow-walked ethics obligations MORE (D-N.Y.)

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"The secrecy in which these depositions and interviews are being conducted, and the lack of clarity on the rules that govern attendance and access to records, are deeply concerning in the context of such a serious inquiry,” the letter read.

GOP members have been vocal in their criticisms of how Democrats have carried out the impeachment process thus far, alleging it is politically motivated and has lacked transparency. The lawmakers highlighted that multiple attempts to gain access to the closed-door impeachment hearings have repeatedly been rebuffed for members who don’t sit on any of the three panels. 

“You have consistently denied non-committee Members their right to attend these depositions and interviews without specifying any authority to do so. House regulations clearly permit all House members to attend depositions,” they continued.

“You have also consistently denied the right of non-committee members to view the transcripts of depositions and interviews without specifying any authority to do so. These transcripts are committee records. Committee records that are the property of the whole House and under House rules, no Member can be denied access to committee records.”  

The letter was led by House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and signed by 76 GOP lawmakers including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Mark Mellman: A failure of GOP leadership MORE (Calif.), Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Trump welcomes LSU to the White House: 'Go Tigers' MORE (La.) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Hillicon Valley — Presented by Philip Morris International — Apple reportedly dropped plans to let iPhone users encrypt backups | Justices decline facial recognition case | Critics fear Facebook losing misinformation fight | Truce on French tech tax MORE (R-Wyo.).     

The members requested the information on the rules be provided by Tuesday. 

Democrats have vehemently defended the way they have been conducting the inquiry, with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats hammer abuse of power charge, allege Trump put self over country Overnight Energy: Trump issues rule replacing Obama-era waterway protections | Pelosi slams new rule as 'an outrageous assault' | Trump water policy exposes sharp divides Pelosi slams Trump administration's new water rule: 'An outrageous assault' MORE (D-Calif.) asserting they are not required under the Constitution to hold a floor vote to launch a formal impeachment probe. House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules House revives agenda after impeachment storm House poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate MORE (D-Md.) noted that Schiff has stated transcripts of the depositions and documents will be made available to members after the committees concludes collecting testimony from witnesses. 

“What he doesn't want is to have the witnesses reading each other's testimony and parroting it," Hoyer said on the House floor on Friday. "That's a fair thing, to make sure that we don't have one witness just simply adopting the testimony of another witness. We want the truth, not parroting of other information.”