House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) said on Monday that the House “may not” vote to authorize the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
Schiff argued that voting on the investigation would not stop Republican criticism of the process. His comments came during an interview at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, moderated by New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof.
During the event in New York City Monday, Schiff noted that the U.S. Constitution does not require House lawmakers to vote on the impeachment inquiry, adding:
We may have a vote on an impeachment proceeding, or we may not have a vote. Ultimately that will be the decision that we make together with our leadership. But no one should be under the apprehension or misapprehension that were we to vote and authorize, by the full vote of the House, an impeachment inquiry that that will in any way stop the White House complaints, attacks, etc.
They will just move on to the next hurdle they want to put in the way. So, we should be clear about what is happening here. This is merely an effort to delay, distract, deter. And we will not be delayed, and we won’t be distracted, and we will not be deterred.
The White House and its Republican congressional allies argue that the vote on the impeachment probe is necessary to legitimize the inquiry per the recognized standards of previous impeachment efforts.
Members of the House voted to allow an investigation into whether to impeach President Bill Clinton and President Richard Nixon. GOP lawmakers have pointed to those votes as evidence that Democrats are acting unfairly and illegitimately.
Last Thursday, Politico reported that some House Democrats are privately calling on Pelosi to hold a vote in a bid to undermine Republican criticism that the process is illegitimate.
The Washington Examiner added on Sunday that “progressive Democrats are ramping up demands for an official floor vote to open an impeachment inquiry.”
As of October 10, all but eight of 235 members of the House Democratic Caucus support the impeachment inquiry, the New York Times reported.
Republicans stand united in their opposition to the investigation.
In a letter to House Democrat leaders last week, the White House said it would not cooperate with the impeachment probe. The White House deemed the process “partisan” and “illegitimate” — all but explicitly daring the House to hold a vote on the impeachment investigation.
During the event Monday, Schiff indicated he is not concerned about the impact the impeachment inquiry may have on the re-election of vulnerable Democrats.
“Let the chips fall where they may,” he declared. The Democrat-led House Committees on Oversight and Reform, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs are pursuing the impeachment probe.