Report: Republicans on Intelligence Committee Can Review Transcripts — with a Democrat Staffer Watching

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 03: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) delivers a lecture on The Threat to Liberal Democracy at Home and Abroad at Cahn Auditorium on the campus of Northwestern University on October 03, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Schiff is Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty …
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee will only be able to read transcripts of depositions in the “impeachment inquiry” with a Democrat staffer watching them.

In addition, there will only be one copy of each transcript available. No further printed or electronic versions will be provided.

Those are the rules under which Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the committee chair, is proceeding, according to Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal, who interviewed committee member Rep. Elaine Stefanik (R-NY):

Rep. Elise Stefanik was informed this week by Republican House Intelligence Committee staffers of a new diktat from Chairman Adam Schiff. It made the New York Republican’s jaw drop.

Democrats had informed Republicans that, from here on out, the committee would produce a single, printed transcript of every interview it conducted as part of its impeachment inquiry. Only members of the three committees involved in the purported inquiry would be allowed to view that printout, and only in the presence of a Democratic staffer. Ms. Stefanik—an elected member of Congress who sits on the Intelligence Committee—will be babysat while reading by an unelected employee of the Democrats.

Conservative commentators keep noting that Mrs. Pelosi’s refusal to hold a vote on the House floor to authorize an official impeachment inquiry helps her caucus’s vulnerable members evade accountability. But there’s a more practical and uglier reason for Democrats to skip the formalities. Normally an authorization vote would be followed by official rules on how the inquiry would proceed. Under today’s process, Mr. Schiff gets to make up the rules as he goes along. Behold the Lord High Impeacher.

Read Strassel’s full article at the Journal.

As of Friday afternoon, a Republican resolution in the Senate disapproving of the House impeachment process had reached 50 co-sponsors (out of 53 GOP members).

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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