Judiciary Democrats Vote Down Motion to Call up Adam Schiff

December 4, 2019 Updated: December 4, 2019

Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee called to vote on a motion to have House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to appear, but it failed to pass.

A motion to table their call passed along party lines, effectively killing the Republican-led call. Twenty-four Democrats voted in favor of tabling it, and 17 Republicans voted against it.

Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the committee, said, “Don’t tell me this is about new evidence and new things and new stuff” and pointed out that “this is nothing new folks.” He noted that Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) began talking about impeachment about a year ago.

Nadler, meanwhile, said in his public statement that President Donald Trump “directly and explicitly invited foreign interference in our elections” and cited a report drafted by Democrats in the House Intelligence Committee, headed by Schiff.

Democrats alleged that Trump held back nearly $400 million in military aid to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma Holdings. Trump and Zelensky have both denied the claims, with Zelensky again doing so over the weekend.

Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Doug Collins
House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) delivers remarks during a mark-up hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 8, 2019. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Republicans on the Intelligence Committee released a report, exonerating the president for his actions in Ukraine. They said the aid was eventually released and noted that witnesses who were called up to testify didn’t provide enough evidence that showed quid pro quo or bribery.

The hearing is titled, “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment,” and it will include comments from Jonathan Turley, a professor of public interest law at George Washington University Law School; Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School and director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law; Michael Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law; and Pamela Karlan, a professor of public interest law at Stanford Law School, according to the Judiciary Committee (pdf).

The White House pushed back on Tuesday and described it as a sham.

“At the end of a one-sided sham process, Chairman Schiff and the Democrats utterly failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. “This report reflects nothing more than their frustrations. Chairman Schiff’s report reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger straining to prove something when there is evidence of nothing.”