House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) penned a leader to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday calling on House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump to be suspended over its lack of transparency.
“I am writing to request you suspend all efforts surrounding your ‘impeachment inquiry’ until transparent and equitable rules and procedures are established to govern the inquiry, as is customary,” McCarthy wrote. “As you know, there have only been three prior instances in our nation’s history when the full House has moved to formally investigate whether sufficient grounds exist for the impeachment of a sitting president.”
“I should hope that if such an extraordinary step were to be contemplated a fourth time, it would be conducted with an eye towards fairness, objectivity, and impartiality,” he continued. “Unfortunately, you have given no clear indication as to how your impeachment inquiry will proceed — including whether key historical precedents or basic standards of due process will be observed.”
READ⬇️ I’ve written to Speaker Pelosi to halt the impeachment inquiry until we can receive public answers to the following questions. Given the enormity of the question at hand—impeaching a duly elected president—the American public deserves fairness and transparency. pic.twitter.com/EFKOghyf9w
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) October 3, 2019
McCarthy’s request comes nearly a week after Pelosi announced that House Democrats would be moving forward with an impeachment inquiry. The move was in response to a whistleblower’s testimony accusing Trump of asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for using his position as vice president to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor who was looking into his son’s business dealings.
The reports were not confirmed at the time of Pelosi’s decision, and it was not until a day later that the White House released a transcript of Trump’s exchange with Zelensky. After the transcript was made public, many have argued that it failed to show a direct quid pro quo that was initially alleged.
Accordingly, House Democrats have already issued a subpoena to Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and are threatening additional subpoenas for White House documents.
“In addition, the swiftness and recklessness with which you have proceeded has already resulted in committee chairs attempting to limit minority participation in scheduled interviews, calling into question the integrity of such an inquiry,” McCarthy wrote, before asking a variety of questions, primarily relating to the president’s right to due process.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, also expressed similar concerns days earlier over the lack of transparency. Collins accused Democrats of sidestepping a full vote on the House floor and bypassing a fair hearing for the president.
“They’re trying to avoid a vote on inquiry, but there’s also another reason: If they actually went to an inquiry, then all of a sudden there [are] due process rights,” Collins said during an appearance on Fox News. “There’s actually a process for the president in this, there’s actually equal subpoena powers that have been in the previous inquiries for both the Democrats and the Republicans — it becomes a fair hearing.”
“At a news conference yesterday, you insisted, ‘we have to be fair to the President,’” McCarthy said. “If those words are taken to be sincere, the American people deserve assurance that basic standards of due process will be present.”
“Given the enormity of the questions at hand — the removal of a duly elected sitting president — anything less than a thorough, transparent, and fair process would represent a supreme insult to our Constitution and the millions of Americans who rely on their voices being heard throughout [our] democratic system of government,” he added.