GOP Seizes on Gabbard Ripping Dems’ Closed-Door Impeachment Probe: Bipartisan ‘Rebuke of Kangaroo Court’

Gabbard
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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a 2020 White House hopeful, this week lambasted the closed-door proceedings of her own party’s impeachment inquiry, echoing the frustration of Republicans.

House Democrats have dismissed Republican demands that they release the “all” the transcripts of the testimony provided by impeachment investigation witnesses and open the proceedings to the public.

During an interview on Fox News Thursday, Gabbard questioned the argument by her fellow Democrats that the impeachment probe witnesses must testify in private to prevent them from sharing information.

“That inquiry needs to be done in a very narrowly focused way, and it must be done transparently. I don’t know what’s going on in those closed doors,” Gabbard declared. “I think that the American people deserve to know exactly what the facts are, what the evidence is that’s being presented as this inquiry goes on.”

Noting via Twitter that “the rebuke of [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff’s [D-CA] Kangaroo Court is bipartisan,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) cited a clip of the Gabbard’s interview.

Gabbard also blasted the Democrats’ secret impeachment proceedings at the Fortune Most Powerful Women dinner at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, on Tuesday night, saying the lack of transparency could hurt the “integrity” of the process.

“Pursuing impeachment for partisan reasons is bad for our country,” she proclaimed. “It will be extremely divisive for an already divided country. I looked at the complaint and was very concerned. We need to get to the bottom of it.”

“There needs to be a transparent and narrowly focused inquiry — I am disappointed with the lack of transparency,” she added. “They have been behind closed doors.”

“That has the potential to undermine the integrity of a nonpartisan investigation,” the Hawaii Democrat also said.

After opposing the idea, Gabbard expressed support for the impeachment inquiry during the last Democrat presidential debate in mid-October but cautioned against a “hyper-partisan” process.

“Up to this point, I have been opposed to pursuing impeachment because it will further divide our already badly divided country,” the congresswoman said in a September 27 statement, soon after House Democrats launched the probe.

Gabbard’s criticism this week of the secret impeachment process came amid a feud with Hillary Clinton, a 2016 presidential candidate who recently accused her of being a Russian asset without providing any evidence.

Although he acknowledged that the analogy is “imperfect,” Schiff has likened the impeachment inquiry to private grand-jury proceedings.

“It is a political process and there are good reasons that part of that process should be conducted in the public eye, but I will tell you no two impeachments are alike,” he conceded on October 14.

Schiff has vowed to release the transcripts of the witnesses’ testimony and open the process to the public. The leader of the impeachment probe did not say when he will allow the public access to the impeachment probe proceedings.

The Washington Post, however, reported on Wednesday, “House Democrats are preparing to move their largely private impeachment inquiry onto a more public stage as soon as mid-November and are already grappling with how best to present the complex Ukraine saga to the American people.”

Republican members of the three House panels conducting the impeachment probe are allowed to participate in questioning the witnesses. Still, they are not allowed to bring their own or issue subpoenas. House Democrats have also excluded Trump’s lawyers from the hearings, denying them the right to access evidence and examine witnesses.

The White House is refusing to cooperate with the probe, arguing that it is “illegitimate” and unfair.

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