House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) threw a wrench in the Democrats’ partisan impeachment effort, demanding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) publicly answer questions before proceeding with the impeachment inquiry, as detailed in a scathing letter on Thursday.
McCarthy sent a letter to Pelosi on Thursday, questioning the House Democrats’ transparency and demanding public answers to a series of questions before proceeding with the impeachment inquiry:
READ⬇️ I’ve written to Speaker Pelosi to halt the impeachment inquiry until we can receive public answers to the following questions. Given the enormity of the question at hand—impeaching a duly elected president—the American public deserves fairness and transparency. pic.twitter.com/EFKOghyf9w
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) October 3, 2019
“I am writing to request you suspend all efforts surrounding your ‘impeachment inquiry’ until transparent and equitable rules and procedures are established to govern the inquiry, as is customary,” McCarthy penned.
McCarthy wrote that Pelosi has given “no clear indication” of how the inquiry will proceed from here, “including whether key historical precedents or basic standards of due process will be observed.”
“In addition, the swiftness and recklessness with which you have proceeded has already resulted in committee chairs attempting to limit minority participation in schedule interviews, calling into question the integrity of such an inquiry,” McCarthy continued.
The California Republican provided the speaker with a list of questions, requesting a public response before further action is taken.
The questions are as follows:
- Do you intend to hold a vote of the full House authorizing our impeachment inquiry?
- Do you intend to involve the full House in each critical step of this inquiry, including defining its scope and establishing its rules and procedures?
- Do you intend to grant co-equal subpoena power to both the Chair and Ranking Member at the committee level?
- Do you intend to require that all subpoenas be subject to a vote of the full committee at the request of either the Chair or Ranking Member?
- Do you intend to provide the President’s counsel the right to attend all hearings and depositions?
- Do you intend to provide the president’s counsel the right to present evidence?
- Do you intend to provide the president’s counsel the right to object to the admittance of evidence?
- Do you intend to provide the president’s counsel the right to cross-examine witnesses?
- Do you intend to provide the president’s counsel the right to recommend a witness list?
- Do you intend to refer all findings on impeachment to Chairman Nadler and the Judiciary Committee, as prescribed by Rule X of the Rules of the House, or is Chairman Schiff in charge of leading the inquiry as reported in the press?
“By answering ‘no’ to any of the above, you would be acting in direct contradiction to all modern impeachment inquiries of a sitting president,” McCarthy assessed.
“By answering ‘no’ to any of the above, you would be denying the President the bare minimum rights granted to his predecessors. By answering ‘no’ to any of the above, you would create a process comply devoid of any merit or legitimacy,” he added.
Pelosi said during a press conference on Wednesday that Democrats view Trump’s actions as “an assault on the Constitution.”
“We want to be fair as we go forward,” Pelosi said. “We could not be better served than by the leadership of our chairman of the intelligence committee, Adam Schiff.”
Schiff’s credibility came under question again on Wednesday after it was revealed that he knew of the “whistleblower” complaint days before it was filed.
The report stood in contrast to claims Schiff made during a September 17 appearance on MSNBC, telling Morning Joe that “we” had never spoken to the “whistleblower” directly:
He lied because he was trying to stage a coup.
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) October 2, 2019
According to Sam Stein, an official on the House Intelligence Committee admitted that Schiff “could have been more clear”:
House Intel committee official on Chairman Schiff’s earlier comments to me that he had not talked to the whistleblower: "The Chairman could have been more clear – he was referring to the Committee officially interviewing the whistleblower, and himself personally."
— Sam Stein (@samstein) October 2, 2019