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 SchiffFive things to know about Tuesday's impeachment hearings Nunes complains Democrats adding extra time for questioning witnesses Volker says he rejected Biden 'conspiracy theory' pushed by Giuliani MORE (D-Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman Overnight Defense: Protests at Trump's NYC Veterans Day speech | House Dems release Pentagon official's deposition transcript | Lawmakers ask Trump to rescind Erdogan invite Bipartisan House members call on Trump to rescind Erdoğan invitation MORE (D-N.Y.) and Oversight and Reform Committee acting Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyMaloney wins vote for Oversight chairwoman Top House Democrats ask for review of DHS appointments Maloney primary challenger calls on her to return, donate previous campaign donations from Trump 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 McCarthyFormer Speaker Boehner's official portrait unveiled Saagar Enjeti blasts alleged Epstein cover-up by media Harris introduces bill to prevent California wildfires MORE (Calif.), Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseChris Wallace: Trump testifying 'would be akin to Prince Andrew testifying about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein' Fox's Neil Cavuto rips into Trump over attacks on Chris Wallace's impeachment coverage This week: Round 2 of House impeachment inquiry hearings MORE (La.) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Stopgap spending bill includes military pay raise | Schumer presses Pentagon to protect impeachment witnesses | US ends civil-nuclear waiver in Iran Cruz, Graham and Cheney call on Trump to end all nuclear waivers for Iran Pompeo: US ending sanctions waiver for site where Iran resumed uranium enrichment 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 PelosiOvernight Health Care: GOP senator says drug price action unlikely this year | House panel weighs ban on flavored e-cigs | New York sues Juul Five things to know about Tuesday's impeachment hearings McConnell hopes Senate impeachment trial 'not too lengthy a process' 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 HoyerHouse passes stopgap as spending talks stall This week: Round 2 of House impeachment inquiry hearings Lawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms 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.”