Back when Yasser Arafat was still alive and leading the PLO (That’s what it was called back then), there was a cliché that said that the PLO “never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Apparently, Democrats must’ve inherited that trait.
What’s happening is that Adam Schiff is going too far:
House Republicans are demanding an “equal playing field” in the Democrat-led impeachment probe against President Trump after Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said ahead of Thursday’s scheduled testimony from former U.S. envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker that GOP members of the Foreign Affairs Committee will not be permitted to ask questions or have equal representation during the session.
Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Mike McCaul tweeted this:
BREAKING: Democrats will not allow Foreign Affairs Committee Republicans to have equal representation or the opportunity to question Kurt Volker at tomorrow’s scheduled interview. Read more: https://t.co/ZxOPGRXsx4
— House Foreign Affairs GOP (@HouseForeignGOP) October 3, 2019
Then McCaul cited specific House Rules:
In the letter addressed to Chairman Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., McCaul further argued that despite statements made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democrats, “there is not a ‘House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry” because the entire House has not voted on the matter.
Citing House Rules X and XI, McCaul said that until Congress members from both parties vote to create a special impeachment task force to carry out proceedings, “Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff lacks the jurisdiction to investigate the Department of State’s conduct of United States foreign policy toward Ukraine. That prerogative belongs to our Members.”
“Official impeachment inquiries are initiated by the adoption of a House resolution empowering or creating a committee or task force to undertake such activities,” McCaul continued. “In both the Nixon and Clinton cases, the Judiciary Committee debated and reported a resolution authorizing the Judiciary Committee to investigate whether there were sufficient grounds to impeach the President, which was then debated and voted on by the full House of Representatives. There have been no such debates or votes in this Congress.”
If Democrats want to run roughshod on Republicans, there might be a short-term gain (That’s no guarantee, BTW) but there will be a long-term loss. (That’s a guarantee.) People might or might not have an opinion on impeachment itself but I’m betting the ranch that they have a strong opinion on basic fairness. This doesn’t come close in terms of fairness. Don’t think that swing-district Democrats won’t pay a hefty price for Shiffty Schiff’s heavy-handed tactics.
If Democrats want to hand Chairman gavels back to Republicans, they’re following the right playbook. Between this ham-handedness and the Democrats’ all-impeachment-all-the-time agenda and nonexistent list of accomplishments, I don’t know how Pelosi’s Democrats avoid a big red wave. Expect Republicans to raise procedural complaints whenever Democrats attempt to thwart the minority party’s rights according to the rules.
It isn’t a secret that Democrats want to shove this impeachment through the House in rocket-docket fashion. Rest assured that House GOP leadership and President Trump to criticize Democrats mightily whenever Democrats try running roughshod on Republicans.