House

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 Trump’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 Zeldin (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 Schiff (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. 

{mosads}“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 McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters. He continued to say it was a “simple meeting” to prepare before the hearing. 

Rep. Mark Meadows (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 Perry (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. 

Tags Adam Schiff Donald Trump Impeachment impeachment inquiry Kevin McCarthy Lee Zeldin Mark Meadows Republicans Scott Perry
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