House Judiciary Committee Member Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) criticized Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for getting him removed from an impeachment inquiry hearing on Monday.
“This is proof that Democrats can’t win a fair election, they can’t win a fair debate and they absolutely cannot run a fair impeachment inquiry because they’re stacking the deck,” Gaetz claimed to Fox News later that evening.
He said that so far, the process has been “bizarre,” adding that his committee chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) commenced the inquiry in early September.
He said that Schiff and other Democrats are trying to limit Republican Congressional access to evidence and witnesses in the inquiry.
“If Republicans had a witness list it would be Adam Schiff who would be a fact witness because of the collusion that he and his staff were engaged in with the whistleblower that they then lied about,” he claimed. “Even Republicans didn’t treat Bill Clinton this bad.”
He mentioned that in 1998’s impeachment proceedings of former President Clinton, Democrats were allowed to issue subpoenas. Clinton counsel were allowed more access than the attorneys of President Trump now, he claimed.
According to the Congressional Research Service (pdf), the House’s formal impeachment proceedings are usually referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
“The House impeachment process generally proceeds in three phases: (1) initiation of the impeachment process; (2) Judiciary Committee investigation, hearings, and markup of articles of impeachment; and (3) full House consideration of the articles of impeachment,” it says.
On Monday, he attempted to attend the testimony of Fiona Hill, a former deputy assistant to the president. He was told to leave as he isn’t a member of the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees that are carrying out the inquiry.
Trump and House Republicans have repeatedly criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Democrats for the way the inquiry was launched and for the lack of transparency in the inquiry process. Pelosi announced the investigation based on media reports about the whistleblower and before reviewing the transcript of the call between Trump and Ukraine that prompted the impeachment inquiry.
Janita Kan contributed to this report.