Nancy Pelosi Announces Impeachment Inquiry Vote Set For Thursday, GOP Responds: ”We Will Not Legitimize The Schiff/Pelosi Sham Impeachment”

[Image Source: Fox News, PBS Newshour, Face The Nation, KCCI Video Screenshots. Swamp Drain Compilation]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Monday the House of Representatives will vote Thursday on a resolution to formalize the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. It is not an actual article of impeachment, but rather a resolution that sets process ground rules.

In a letter sent to Democratic House lawmakers, Pelosi said the resolution “affirms the ongoing, existing investigation” and “establishes the procedure” for future investigative steps, Fox News reported.

“We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives,” Pelosi said.

Republicans have challenged Pelosi to call for a formal House vote to set the legitimacy of formal impeachment proceedings, which would give Republicans the same rights at Democrats, who hold the majority in the House. Earlier this month, the White House sent a scathing letter to Pelosi and Democrats that explained why the President would not cooperate with their “unconstitutional” impeachment inquiry.

D.C. District Judge Beryl Howell, an Obama appointee, however, ruled that the House does not need to authorize the impeachment inquiry with a floor vote in a rejection of the Trump administration’s argument.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), the chairman of the House Rules Committee, said Monday that he will introduce a resolution this week to “ensure transparency” and “provide a clear path forward” in the impeachment inquiry. The text of the resolution has yet to be released, but McGovern plans to introduce it Tuesday ahead of a markup in his committee Wednesday. A senior Democratic aide said that the resolution is expected to hit the House floor on Thursday, reported The Hill. (Continued Below)

Even as she announced a formal vote, Pelosi insisted Monday that this argument “has no merit.” Pelosi said, “This resolution establishes the procedure for hearings that are open to the American people, authorizes the disclosure of deposition transcripts, outlines procedures to transfer evidence to the Judiciary Committee as it considers potential articles of impeachment, and sets forth due process rights for the president and his counsel,” reported Fox News.

Pelosi met with the Democratic caucus two weeks ago and said that there would be no formal vote to launch impeachment proceedings, despite the GOP pressure. “There’s no requirement that we have a vote, and so at this time we will not be having a vote. We’re not here to call bluffs — we’re here to find the truth, to uphold the Constitution of the United States. This is not a game for us. This is deadly serious,” she said.

The White House and other Republicans argued Monday that the move proves Democrats have been conducting an “unauthorized” inquiry. (Continued Below)

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement, “We won’t be able to comment fully until we see the actual text, but Speaker Pelosi is finally admitting what the rest of America already knew – that Democrats were conducting an unauthorized impeachment proceeding, refusing to give the President due process, and their secret, shady, closed-door depositions are completely and irreversibly illegitimate.”

GOP House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy said on Twitter, “It’s been 34 days since Nancy Pelosi unilaterally declared her impeachment inquiry. Today’s backtracking is an admission that this process has been botched from the start. We will not legitimize the Schiff/Pelosi sham impeachment.”

House Minority Whip, Steve Scalise (R-LA) tweeted, “Pelosi let Schiff hold secret hearings and leak misleading info to attack @realDonaldTrump for weeks. Now she wants a vote to “formalize” a process that’s already tainted. Dems aren’t trying to change their Soviet-style impeachment process, they’re formally endorsing it.

(Continued Below)

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “A vote now is a bit like un-Ringing a bell as House Democrats have selectively leaked information in order to damage President @realDonaldTrump for weeks”.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the overwhelming response House Democrats heard from the American people and Senate Republicans in support of my resolution forced their hand. Today’s announcement is an acknowledgment of the success of our efforts last week,” he continued.

“The American people have been outraged by the unfair nature and lack of due process House Dems have given to Pres Trump. I take pride in the fact our vigorous response to their underhanded tactics ended up making their position untenable. Today, they were forced to change course. Finally, I look forward to reviewing their proposal and ensuring it provides President Trump with the rights and privileges Republicans afforded former President Clinton during the 1998 impeachment process,” Graham added.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) tweeted, “House Democrats now suddenly saying they’ll vote on an impeachment resolution to ‘ensure transparency’ is rich—considering they’ve spent weeks conducting interviews in secret, leaking their own talking points while locking down any and all information that benefits the President.”

He added, “We’ve just learned House Democrats are moving the public impeachment hearings to the Intelligence Committee — taking it out of the normal jurisdiction (Judiciary Committee), cutting out GOP members who have spent the majority of time questioning witnesses till now This is a sham”.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) said, “Pelosi now says there will be a vote Thu to authorize their impeachment inquiry. This should include minority subpoena rights, equal allocat. of staff, immediate release of all transcripts & more. POTUS’ counsel should be able to attend depos, present evidence & quest witnesses.”

(Continued Below)

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) tweeted, “Thank you, @SpeakerPelosi, for finally acknowledging the fact that you attempted to deceive the American people into thinking you were conducting a fair impeachment inquiry. Just one problem: It’s impossible to undo 35 days of @RepAdamSchiff’s secrecy, leaks, and innuendo.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) wrote, “Pelosi announces they’ll finally vote to open the impeachment inquiry. Codifying a sham process halfway through doesn’t make it any less of a sham process.”

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted, “Speaker Pelosi’s announcement today acknowledges Adam Schiff’s free-wheeling impeachment inquiry is devoid of rules and lacks legitimacy. Schiff’s anarchic impeachment sham has devolved into mayhem and is entirely antithetical to constitutional principles.”

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) wrote, “Schiff-style impeachment: Dems hide testimony behind secure doors & leak info vital to their false narrative, driving the lies against @realDonaldTrump. As the radical left moves towards impeachment, they attempt to overturn the will of the American voters, in total secrecy.”

Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) tweeted, “A live look at House Democrats trying to impeach President @realDonaldTrump.First Russia, then obstruction, now Ukraine. Dems are throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks.

(Related: Sen. Kennedy On Pelosi & Schiff’s Impeachment Efforts: ‘I Hear Them Saying To The American People, You’re Stupid & We’re Smart’)