House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told Bloomberg reporters during a roundtable discussion on Friday that she “would assume” that public impeachment hearings will take place this month but added that depositions – held in House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) secret impeachment chamber – will continue as long as they remain “productive.”
Pelosi’s admission follows reports of additional secret meetings scheduled over the next several days, despite the Democrats’ claim that their partisan resolution addressed Republican demands for transparency.
House Democrats on Friday passed the impeachment inquiry resolution 232-196. Two Democrats – Reps. Van Drew (D-NJ) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) – voted against the resolution alongside every single Republican. The sharp party-line divide speaks to the unprecedented partisan nature of the inquiry, which Democrats never authorized with a full House vote.
Pelosi, speaking to Bloomberg reporters on Friday, said that public impeachment hearings could come this month but added that Democrats will continue to hold depositions behind closed doors in Schiff’s secret impeachment room in the basement of the Capitol, as long as they remain “productive.”
“I don’t know what the timetable will be — the truth will set us free,” she said, according to Bloomberg. “We have not made any decisions on if the president will be impeached.”
She also signaled that the inquiry could drip into 2020.
“There is — I should say — a mountain of concerns to be brought up,” she said, according to Bloomberg. “When does the law of diminished returns set in?”
“There has to be clarity,” she continued, arguing that President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky “changed everything in the public mind,” seemingly ignoring the polls suggesting otherwise.
A National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies October 1-3, 2019, found that the majority of voters in key congressional districts do not view Trump’s phone call with Zelensky as an impeachable offense.
As Breitbart News reported:
The poll shows the majority, 59 percent, do not view the conversation as an impeachable offense, while 37 percent view it as impeachable. While opinions on impeachment are largely divided on party lines, the majority of independents– 57 percent – do not view the conversation itself as impeachable.
Additionally, a USA Today/Suffolk poll released this week found that the majority of registered voters, 51.2 percent, “either disapprove or strongly disapprove of Speaker Pelosi’s job performance as she moves towards impeaching President Trump.”
As Breitbart News reported, the resolution does virtually nothing to guarantee transparency moving forward, as it merely states that the chair of the Intelligence Committee, Schiff, shall conduct “an open hearing or hearings.” It also does not require Democrats to release the transcripts of previous testimonies which were unnecessarily held in secret, as they did not contain classified information.
The resolution passed Friday supposedly outlines rules and procedures moving forward, but Republicans say that Democrats crafted the resolution under the guise of transparency. Therefore, it does little to nothing to satisfy their mounting concerns.
For example, one of the provisions in the resolution provides a loophole for Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, allowing them – under Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler’s (D-NY) leadership – to reject White House witnesses as a form of retribution.
Roll Call asked Nadler about the provision, which he described as a precautionary measure.
“I hope we don’t need to use it,” he said, according to Roll Call.