Himes: The GOP has 'fully given itself over to being a personality cult for Donald Trump'

Himes: The GOP has 'fully given itself over to being a personality cult for Donald Trump'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Jim HimesJames (Jim) Andres HimesThe Memo: GOP plays risky game with attacks on Vindman Impeachment witnesses push back against being called 'Never Trumpers' Live coverage: House holds third day of public impeachment hearings MORE (D-Conn.), the No. 2 Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, defended the House’s party-line vote on formalizing procedures in its impeachment inquiry, saying the vote was the result of the GOP being a “personality cult for Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE.”

Pressed by Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceChris Wallace: Sondland testimony 'took out the bus and ran over' Trump, top aides Chris 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 MORE on "Fox News Sunday" on the zero Republican votes after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiKlobuchar shuts down idea a woman can't beat Trump: 'Pelosi does it every day' Budowsky: Trump destroying GOP in 2018, '19, '20 On The Money: Senate scraps plan to force second shutdown vote | Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny | McConnell rips House Dems for holding up trade deal MORE (D-Calif.) said the impeachment process must be bipartisan, Himes responded by pointing to Wallace’s previous guest, counselor to the president Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayConway and Haley get into heated feud: 'You'll say anything to get the vice-presidential nomination' NBC signs Mueller 'pit bull' prosecutor Andrew Weissman as legal analyst George Conway and Trump Jr. trade personal insults during impeachment hearing MORE.

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"As you just experienced with Kellyanne Conway for 12 minutes of some of the most ludicrous TV and unfactual statements by a White House official I have ever heard, the Republican Party has now fully given itself over to being a personality cult for Donald Trump,” Himes said.

“For understandable reasons, every one of my Republican colleagues understands that if they do what they know is right ... the president lights them up on Twitter and they lose a primary election,” he added.

Himes told Wallace that his "best guess" was that open hearings in the inquiry would begin in "the next two or three weeks," adding that "we need to interview a few more witnesses before we’re in a position" to begin that stage of the process.

Wallace grilled Himes on whether House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffNunes's facial expression right before lawmakers took break from Sondland testimony goes viral Sondland brings impeachment inquiry to White House doorstep Maloney wins House Oversight gavel MORE (D-Calif.) would use his authority to block witnesses called by Republicans, with Himes responding that a full committee vote could be taken on whether to block a subpoena.

When Wallace noted that the committee was majority Democratic and would not defy Schiff, Himes defended the “majoritarian process” and said that “the rules have never said that the minority can subpoena some conspiracy theorist who believes that the [Democratic National Committee] server is in Ukraine.”