Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a clear duty to call an immediate House vote to authorize an official impeachment inquiry — if she dares.
The White House informed her today that the Executive Branch won’t play along with the lawless “inquiry” that House Democrats have been engaged in — which President Trump has quite fairly termed “a totally compromised kangaroo court.”
White House counsel Pat Cipollone’s letter to Pelosi spells out the problems. While the Constitution clearly gives the House the power to begin impeachment proceedings, it does not give the speaker the privilege of declaring them all by herself.
Precedent is on the White House’s side here. Most recently, the full House voted to open impeachment inquiries against Presidents Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon — and in so doing set clear rules that gave presidential defenders full rights to participate, including the right to subpoena witnesses.
The letter even quotes Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler’s past remarks that “the power of impeachment … demands a rigorous level of due process” that includes such provisions.
As Cipollone notes, the investigating committees “must provide for the disclosure of all evidence favorable to the President and all evidence bearing on the credibility of witnesses called to testify in the inquiry. The Committees’ current procedures proved none of these basic constitutional rights.”
Pelosi’s Democrats are rushing to a final impeachment vote before Thanksgiving. They’re deposing witnesses behind closed doors and denying Republicans fair time to ask questions and the right to call their own witnesses — and won’t even release full interview transcripts.
Instead, they’re leaking negative info and withholding favorable facts — feeding fanatically anti-Trump media to repeat slanted interpretations as fact.
This is no constitutional effort to get at the full facts: It’s a rush to sell the public on a narrative of presidential wrongdoing.
The White House is entirely right to call out Pelosi’s game. And her only proper response is to treat her drive to impeach Trump the same way her Republican predecessors did their drive to impeach Clinton.
Is she simply afraid to be fair?
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