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 SchiffStone rails against US justice system in first TV interview since Trump commuted his sentence Overnight Defense: US formally rejects Beijing's South China Sea claims | House set to consider defense policy bill next week | 57 injured as firefighters battle warship blaze Sunday shows - Spotlight shifts to reopening schools MORE (D-Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance Engel70 progressive groups call for next Foreign Affairs chair to reflect 'progressive realism' Overnight Defense: US formally rejects Beijing's South China Sea claims | House set to consider defense policy bill next week | 57 injured as firefighters battle warship blaze Many Democrats want John Bolton's testimony, but Pelosi stays mum MORE (D-N.Y.) and Oversight and Reform Committee acting Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence New York candidates left on hold as primary results trickle in 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 McCarthy4 Texas GOP congressional primary runoffs to watch Congress under pressure to provide billions for school openings Supreme Court rulings reignite Trump oversight wars in Congress MORE (Calif.), Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph Scalise4 Texas GOP congressional primary runoffs to watch Cheney clashes with Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks MORE (La.) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneySome in Congress want to keep sending our troops to Afghanistan Biggs, Massie call on Trump to remove troops from Afghanistan Russian bounties revive Trump-GOP foreign policy divide 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 Pelosi70 progressive groups call for next Foreign Affairs chair to reflect 'progressive realism' House to vote next week on ridding Capitol of Confederate statues Eye on gavel, Wasserman Schultz proposes panel on racial inequality in spending 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 Hoyer70 progressive groups call for next Foreign Affairs chair to reflect 'progressive realism' House to vote next week on ridding Capitol of Confederate statues Overnight Defense: US formally rejects Beijing's South China Sea claims | House set to consider defense policy bill next week | 57 injured as firefighters battle warship blaze 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.”