House Republicans prepare for public impeachment proceedings with mock hearing

House Republicans prepare for public impeachment proceedings with mock hearing
© Greg Nash

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, members of GOP leadership and a select number of President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE’s strongest defenders in the lower chamber gathered in the Capitol basement where they held a mock impeachment hearing on Tuesday afternoon to prepare for Wednesday’s public hearing.  

Rep. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinHouse approves two-state resolution in implicit rebuke of Trump House moves ahead on long-stalled resolution supporting two states for Israelis and Palestinians GOP lawmakers, Trump campaign rip 'liberal law professors' testifying in impeachment hearing MORE (R-N.Y.) — a top Trump defender and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee who took part in the closed-door impeachment hearings — played the part of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffPence's office questions Schiff's request to declassify more material from official's testimony: report Sunday talk shows: Lawmakers gear up ahead of Monday's House Judiciary hearing Trump denies report that he still uses personal cell phone for calls MORE (D-Calif.) while a staff attorney played the role of William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, a source in the room told The Hill. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“We want to make sure all the truth gets out, we don't think there's any reason why the president should even move through this impeachment," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyCNN Pelosi town hall finishes third in cable news ratings race, draws 1.6M Economy adds 266K jobs in November, blowing past expectations The Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached MORE (R-Calif.) told reporters. He continued to say it was a "simple meeting" to prepare before the hearing. 

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsSunday talk shows: Lawmakers gear up ahead of Monday's House Judiciary hearing Trump, first lady take part in National Christmas Tree lighting Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown MORE (R-N.C.) expressed optimism when asked if GOP members of the Intelligence Committee are prepared for the event. 

"I tell you, the good thing is we've got a good set of facts,” he told reporters while exiting the meeting. 

Top Republicans have been highly critical of the restrictions placed on the witnesses they are able to call in and the format that will be used for the hearings, noting it could be a challenge for them. 

“Well, you know, it's very difficult with the parameters that they set. Are we getting no witnesses? ... Schiff is controlling all the time," McCarthy told reporters. 

"I mean, this is really — I can't believe the members on the other side would allow Schiff to continue to take all their time."

Rep. Scott PerryScott Gordon PerryBillboards calling on House Republicans to 'do their job' follow members home for Thanksgiving Yovanovitch impeachment testimony gives burst of momentum to Democrats House Republicans prepare for public impeachment proceedings with mock hearing MORE (R-Pa.) had similar sentiments as McCarthy on the fairness of the hearings. 

“What's really frustrating is we're having a conversation, investigation that includes, for instance, Hunter Biden. We've requested — that's essentially one of the big things, one of the pivotal components of the investigation so to speak, of the inquiry — and we're not going to be allowed to have a conversation with this individual?” he told The Hill. “That seems really one-sided, doesn’t it?”

In addition to the mock hearing, GOP lawmakers were sent a memo crafted by the chairmen of the committees that have taken part in the closed-door portion of the impeachment inquiry providing guidance on strategy for defending the president.  

The memo largely centers on “four key pieces of evidence” they feel undermine Democrats’ attacks on the president. 

They also scheduled a conference meeting focused on impeachment strategy for Tuesday evening.