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On a party-line vote today–two Democrats voted against it and suckweasel Justin Amash voted for it–the House created rules governing the inquiry that will eventually lead to an impeachment vote on President Trump.
According to the Washington Post, this is the process that was approved:
The House’s resolution clears the way for nationally televised hearings as Democrats look to make their case to the American people that Trump should be impeached.
The House’s resolution allows the president and his counsel to request and query witnesses and participate in impeachment proceedings once they reach the Judiciary Committee, which is tasked with writing any articles of impeachment that will be voted on by the House. It also authorizes the House Intelligence Committee to release transcripts of its closed-door depositions to the public, and it directs the committee to write and then release a report on that investigation in the same fashion.
The resolution gives the Republican minority on both the Intelligence and Judiciary committees a chance to subpoena documents and testimony — provided that either the Democratic chairman or a majority of the committee agrees. And it establishes special procedures under which the chairman and top Republican on the panel can take up to 90 minutes to make their cases or defer to a staff lawyer to do so.
The important thing to note here is that it does not actually require transparency or give the minority any rights. It is strictly an exercise in damage control that will allow the Democrats to claim they have a process that is fair but, in reality, Adam Schiff will still be running the inquiry.
The measure grants House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff significant influence over the inquiry, allowing California Democrat lengthy periods of uninterrupted questioning of witnesses in future public hearings, the ability to release transcripts of private hearings and depositions and the power to block Republicans from calling witnesses.
That the minority can only subpoena witnesses if Schiff allows means that the minority can’t subpoena witnesses. Voting to allow Schiff to question witnesses in secret and block minority participation simply codifies the Star Chamber currently in effect.
Today’s vote has been a long-anticipated move by Speaker Pelosi and her caucus. Since day one of @realDonaldTrump’s presidency, Democrats have been on a mission to undo the will of the people.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) October 31, 2019
🚨 BREAKING: Dems are voting to continue their Soviet-style impeachment scheme.
They're not interested in due process.
They're not interested in ending Schiff's secretive witch hunt.
They're not interested in transparency.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 31, 2019
The second thing to note is that while impeachment is a political act, in stable governments impeachment is reserved for actions, criminal or otherwise, that are nearly universally agreed upon as being inconsistent with holding an office. This vote demonstrates that it is simply an act of raw partisanship by political party to overturn the results of an election AFTER the soft coup engineered by that same political party imploded. It is not a legitimate exercise of the impeachment power and President Trump owes it to Constitution and to himself to pull out all the stops in making this “inquiry” look as ridiculous as it as and as stupid as the people orchestrating it.