GOP group presses Republicans to take impeachment hearings seriously

A Republican group is targeting House GOP lawmakers ahead of this week's public impeachment inquiry hearings, urging them to take the proceedings seriously. 
 
The 60-second ad from Republicans for the Rule of Law includes footage from the House Judiciary Committee's debate on articles of impeachment against then-President Nixon and shows three Republicans explaining why they voted for some or all of the articles. 
 
Rule of Law spokesman Chris Truax said in a statement that House Republicans should "study the lessons of Watergate very closely."
ADVERTISEMENT

"The last time a Republican president faced impeachment, some House Republicans remembered that oath. They stood bravely to defend the Constitution and the American tradition of the Rule of Law. They’re remembered for their courage and integrity. History has not been kind to their colleagues who buried their heads in the sand and refused to acknowledge the facts," he added.
 
The House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against Nixon, splitting Republicans on the panel. Nixon ultimately resigned before the full House voted on the articles of impeachment.
 
The outside group's ad will run Wednesday on "Fox & Friends" in D.C., and then transition to a digital ad in districts that are represented by GOP lawmakers who are on the House Intelligence Committee. 
 
The ad comes as the House Intelligence Committee holds its first public hearing on Wednesday after weeks of closed-door depositions with current and former administration officials. 
 
George Kent, a senior State Department official, and William Taylor, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, are slated to testify before the panel on Wednesday. Then, on Friday, Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine who was ousted for being insufficiently loyal to Trump, is scheduled to appear.   
 
Republicans have argued that Democrats are putting unnecessary restrictions on which witnesses can be called to testify. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCBS's Major Garrett: Democrats walking away from bribery, extortion allegations against Trump 'in full public view' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — House Dems charge Trump with abuse, obstruction of Congress in impeachment articles Trump, White House rip Democrats over impeachment articles MORE (D-Calif.) rejected their attempt to call Hunter Biden and the whistleblower whose complaint has driven the impeachment inquiry.  

Republicans for the Rule of Law, which was founded by conservative commentator Bill Kristol, has criticized Republicans before, including targeting President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe MORE over his criticism of former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE and Senate Republicans for blocking election security legislation.  

The group has also come under criticism because it has taken funding from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, who has donated to Democrats and anti-Trump groups. Omidyar sits on the board of the Democracy Fund Voice, which gave $1.6 million in 2018 to support Republicans for the Rule of Law and Defending Democracy Together, which started the project.