The ball has dropped and it’s an historical day in the House, as it voted formally on a resolution governing the public portions of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump. The resolution passed 232-196, with two Democrats voting no, no Republicans voting yes, and only Justin Amash, now an Independent but formerly a Republican voting yes. Roll Call:
Two Democrats, Reps. Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, voted “no.” Van Drew has said that while Trump’s behavior has been “distasteful” and makes him “feel uncomfortable,” he doesn’t believe the president has committed any impeachable offenses.
It’s unfortunate that this issue has to be a partisan, i.e., “tribal” one, but that is the way that it’s shaking down. And true to form, even though the Republicans have been screaming for a more public impeachment process, now they find fault with the way things are to go forward.
House Republicans, to different degrees, have objected to the process run by their Democratic counterparts.
Some, like Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Rules Committee, want Trump to be allowed to have counsel representing him before the Intelligence Committee. Democrats, though, object to that request saying that the panel is gathering facts and that the president will be represented once the probe reaches the Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over articles of impeachment.
Ahead of the vote, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana ripped into the resolution. “It gives veto authority by the chair to literally reject any witness that is brought forward by the minority,”
Scalise said, standing next to a sign held by a staffer that said “37 days of Soviet-Style impeachment proceedings.” “This is Soviet-Style rules. Maybe in the Soviet Union you do things like this where only you make the rules, where you reject the ability for the person you’re accusing to even be in the room, to question what’s going on.
It’s noteworthy that when the Benghazi investigation was going on, Trey Gowdy and other Republicans defended private depositions to the hilt. Gowdy even reiterated his defense of the procedure the other day. However, now that it’s a Republican president who is the object of the investigation, all the other Republicans seem to have forgotten why it’s such a good idea.