On Tuesday, Oct. 29, House Democrats released a proposed resolution relative to their investigation of President Donald Trump and their ongoing impeachment inquiry. The proposed resolution was likely due to growing concerns that the process that has been implemented by Democrats to date violated basic tenets of due process and congressional precedent.
While the resolution purports to create an open and transparent “playing field,” it falls woefully short of achieving this. To the contrary, a review of some of its provisions proves the one-sided nature of this resolution and reaffirms the Democrats’ intent to dictate the scope and nature of the investigation.
Section 2 of the resolution provides that the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is authorized to conduct proceedings and that the chair of the committee will designate those hearings that will be public. The chair and the ranking minority member shall be permitted to question witnesses.
However, pursuant to Section 2, subsection (3) of the resolution, if the minority (Republicans) want to question their own witnesses, the ranking minority member “may first submit any request for witness testimony relevant to the investigation to the chair” and provide a detailed written explanation as to why the testimony is relevant within 72 hours after notice is given for the first hearing.
Furthermore, should the ranking minority member of the committee want to subpoena a person to testify and/or documents, he must first obtain permission (concurrence) from the chair. Finally, if the chair declines the ranking minority member’s request, the minority member can refer to the committee for a decision relative to the chair’s denial. The resolution contains very similar language/provisions relative to the House Judiciary Committee.
The provisions in the resolution are inequitable and keep all of the power in the hands of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and/or Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.). Schiff, who is the chair of the Select Committee, and Nadler, who is the chair of the Judiciary Committee, have the right to reject any request by Republicans to question witnesses and subpoena individuals and/or documents. Moreover, if the minority member of either committee chooses to challenge the decision of the committee chair, he/she will likely face an uphill battle given the current party makeup of the relevant committees, both of which are in Democratic control.
While House Democrats want the American public to believe that this resolution provides transparency, the relevant terms prove otherwise. For example, if Republicans wanted to subpoena the whistleblowers for deposition, the chair of the respective committee could object. If they wanted to subpoena Joe Biden or his son, Hunter Biden, the chair of the relevant committee could similarly deny their requests. The same holds for any documents that could be sought, such as bank/financial records relative to Joe/Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine, and so on.
The fact that the Democratic resolution keeps control so close to the chest is very telling. The terms of this resolution are not equal and do not reflect a quest for transparency. Rather, House Democrats are trying to deceive the American public by making it seem that they are “playing by the rules.”
If Republicans attempted to subpoena Joe or Hunter Biden, the whistleblowers, or even Schiff himself (if this is legally permissible), there is no doubt that Democrats would immediately move to block these subpoenas and deny these requests (and any subsequent testimony), despite their obvious relevance to the impeachment inquiry.
If the resolution comes up for a vote this week, all Republicans should object to it in its current form. The terms of this resolution are grossly unfair and only leave the Republicans with whatever rights Schiff and/or Nadler agree to, which will be minimal, at best.
There is no doubt that Schiff/Nadler will deny any Republican requests that could damage the narrative that they have been pushing to date. Such conduct is not consistent with a search for truth. Rather, it’s reminiscent of a party that’s afraid of what the truth could reveal.
To date, the Democrats’ sham impeachment inquiry has caused irreparable damage and has violated fundamental principles of due process and years of congressional precedent. This proposed resolution does nothing to rectify these egregious violations. As such, Republicans in the House and the Senate should reject it outright.
Elad Hakim is a writer, commentator, and attorney. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, The Algemeiner, The Western Journal, American Thinker, and other online publications.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.