Nancy Pelosi: No Vote on Impeachment Inquiry; Rejects Precedent, Rules

Nancy Pelosi gavel (Chip Somodevilla / Getty)
Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rejected a request by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Thursday that the full House vote on whether to authorize an impeachment inquiry, in keeping with precedent.

On Thursday morning, McCarthy wrote to Pelosi to ask whether she intended to comply with the precedent set in three previous presidential impeachment inquiries (Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton) of having the full House vote to authorize an investigation.

McCarthy also asked whether Pelosi would comply with precedent by letting the minority have equal power to subpoena witnesses, allowing the president’s counsel to cross-examine them, and having the House Judiciary Committee lead the investigation (as required under existing House rules).

Pelosi responded that there was “no requirement under the Constitution, under House Rules, or House precedent that the whole House vote before preceding with an impeachment inquiry.”

Pelosi did not respond to any of McCarthy’s requests that she adhere to precedent on other points, including rights for the congressional minority.

As Breitbart News noted Wednesday, Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) have threatened to charge the administration with obstruction if it exercises even the ordinary constitutional rights of any criminal defendant to challenge witnesses whose testimony would be prejudicial or otherwise inappropriate.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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