Pelosi Neutralizes The GOP’s Last Impeachment Defense

With the planned vote to formalize their impeachment inquiry procedures, House Democrats have undercut all the GOP’s impeachment counter-narratives.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) - Associated Press

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) – Associated Press

Thursday, October 31 Update: The House has passed the impeachment procedure resolution by a 232-196 vote margin. The impact of the resolution is described in the below article from earlier this week.

On Monday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that the House will hold a vote to formalize the procedures of their impeachment inquiry. The vote will be held on Thursday and comes amid the unprecedented stonewalling of the Trump Administration.

The vote serves multiple purposes. Aside from outlining the processes for the impeachment inquiry moving forward, it undermines President Trump and the GOP’s bad faith claims of “no due process” and “no transparency.” House Democrats announced this incoming vote fresh off a court win that found their impeachment inquiry was legally recognized even without a formal vote.

The Trump Administration has declared they will not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry until a formal vote is held. Their political calculation appeared to be that it would hurt House Democrats in red districts who vote for it, but they’ve misread the country. As more evidence of Trump’s corruption is made public, support for impeachment continues to remain above 50% and is currently rising.

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The resolution has yet to be finalized but Speaker Pelosi detailed what the resolution will entail in a statement:

“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.”

For weeks, President Trump and Republicans have called the House impeachment inquiry invalid because there hadn’t been a formal vote. They claimed House Democrats were afraid to vote on the impeachment inquiry. They’ve attacked the process and claimed House Democrats are being secretive even though the committees holding depositions of Trump officials are bipartisan. This culminated last week when House Republicans (including some who were actually on those committees) stormed a SCIF.

Those arguments were already built on a shaky foundation before this announced vote. House impeachment investigators were not handed a Special Counsel report on President Trump’s efforts to extort Ukraine into investigating his political targets, so they have to gather the evidence themselves. These closed-door depositions are standard practice. In spite of the fact the Trump Administration has tried to block multiple State Department witnesses, they’ve testified anyway, providing damning evidence of this corrupt effort.

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Senate Republicans are now reportedly scrambling on how to respond and whether or not to support a planned resolution to condemn the House impeachment inquiry. The White House and House Republicans responded to the announced House vote predictably, grasping at new straws. They’re now trying to claim that the process was “illegitimate” before this vote, even though a court ruled it wasn’t.

The GOP has never had a credible defense of President Trump’s corrupt conduct, so they’ve tried to focus fire on the impeachment process. This vote appears to address all of their remaining, although unjustified, criticisms. But Republicans have never let reality get in their way before. Keep a watchful eye on how their messaging develops in the coming weeks as public hearings approach.

Rundown // Adam Schiff / Donald Trump / Impeachment / Jerry Nadler / Nancy Pelosi / Republican Party