For weeks, the President, his Counsel in the White House, and his allies in Congress have made the baseless claim that the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry “lacks the necessary authorization for a valid impeachment proceeding.” They argue that, because the House has not taken a vote, they may simply pretend the impeachment inquiry does not exist.
Of course, this argument has no merit. The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” Multiple past impeachments have gone forward without any authorizing resolutions. Just last week, a federal court confirmed that the House is not required to hold a vote and that imposing such a requirement would be “an impermissible intrusion on the House’s constitutional authority.” More than 300 legal scholars have also refuted this argument, concluding that “the Constitution does not mandate the process for impeachment and there is no constitutional requirement that the House of Representatives authorize an impeachment inquiry before one begins.”
The Trump Administration has made up this argument – apparently out of whole cloth – in order to justify its unprecedented cover-up, withhold key documents from multiple federal agencies, prevent critical witnesses from cooperating, and defy duly authorized subpoenas.
This week, we will bring a resolution to the Floor that affirms the ongoing, existing investigation that is currently being conducted by our committees as part of this impeachment inquiry, including all requests for documents, subpoenas for records and testimony, and any other investigative steps previously taken or to be taken as part of this investigation.
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.
We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump Administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives.
Nobody is above the law.
Yes, it is silly, but silly is the hallmark of Trump’s legal defense.
The House resolution to be introduced Tuesday and considered on the floor on Thursday, will lay out the next steps for impeachment inquiry.
Some Republicans might hail this as a victory — We got what we asked for! We got Democrats to have a formal vote on the impeachment process!!
Except now, that means that Republicans in the House will have to vote on a formal impeachment inquiry, and look like dicks if they vote no.
This all comes after Charles M. Kupperman, the former deputy national security adviser and one of Mr. Trump’s “closest confidential” advisers, defied a House subpoena for testimony that had been scheduled for this morning.
Earlier, House Democrats said they would forgo using the federal courts to try to compel testimony from recalcitrant witnesses in their impeachment inquiry, warning that lawmakers would instead use the lack of cooperation to bolster their case that Trump has abused his office and obstructed Congress’s investigation.
But the switch to a formal resolution of an impeachment inquiry strengthens the House Democrats’ case that subpoenaed witnesses must appear, should Trump continue to have government employees refuse (as was done today).
That said, Kyle Cheney is right:
What's not clear here: Why the House is doing this.— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) October 28, 2019
Judge Howell just affirmed the validity of the impeachment inquiry, and GOP talking points about the need for a formal House vote haven't moved Democrats for weeks.
I guess they fear the Supreme Court.