Trump and Republicans Insist on House Vote to Launch Formal Impeachment Inquiry

Susan Jones | October 4, 2019 | 5:53am EDT
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President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House for Florida on October 3, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

( - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) repeatedly has said she wants to be “fair” as House Democrats undertake their “impeachment inquiry,” but Democrats are falling short of fairness, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Pelosi in an Oct. 3 letter.

“I am writing to request you suspend all efforts surrounding your ‘impeachment inquiry’ until transparent and equitable rules and procedures are established to govern the inquiry,” McCarthy wrote.

McCarthy and other Republicans say Democrats are so hell-bent on impeaching Trump that they have charged ahead without a full House vote, which would set rules and procedures for a formal impeachment proceeding.

Republicans are particularly upset that Democrats have attempted to limit Republican questioning of witnesses.

In his letter, McCarthy asks Pelosi a number of questions, as follows:

Do you intend to hold a vote of the full House authorizing your impeachment inquiry?

Do you intend to involve the full house in each critical step of this inquiry, including defining its scope and establishing its rules and procedures?

Do you intend to grant co-equal subpoena power to both the Chair and Ranking Member at the committee level?

Do you intend to require that all subpoenas be subject to a vote fof the full committee at the request of either the Chair or Ranking Member?

Do you intend to provide the President’s counsel the right to attend all hearings and depositions – to present evidence? – to object to evidence? – to cross examine witnesses? – to recommend a witness list?

Do you intend to refer all findings on impeachment to Chairman Nadler and the Judiciary Committee, as prescribed by Rule X of the Rules of the House, or is Chairman Schiff in charge of leading the inquiry, as has been reported in the press?

McCarthy said answering “no” to any of those questions would directly contradict “all modern impeachment inquiries of a sitting president.”

“[Y]ou would be denying the President the bare minimum rights granted to his predecessors” and “you would create a process completely devoid of any merit or legitimacy,” McCarthy said.

In response to McCarthy's letter, President Trump tweeted: "Leader McCarthy, we look forward to you soon becoming Speaker of the House. The Do Nothing Dems don’t have a chance!"

Press reports say the White House is about to send a letter of its own objecting to the shadow impeachment proceedings and refusing to cooperate with House Democrats without a full vote of the House to impeach.

The White House Counsel's Office is expected to send that letter later today.

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