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 Schiff (D-Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Oversight and Reform Committee acting Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)

{mosads}”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 McCarthy (Calif.), Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (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 Pelosi (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 Hoyer (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.”

Tags Adam Schiff Carolyn Maloney Donald Trump Impeachment Eliot Engel Impeachment Kevin McCarthy Liz Cheney Nancy Pelosi Steny Hoyer Steve Scalise
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