House Republicans are calling for the committee leaders overseeing the impeachment inquiry to release the guidelines and regulations under which depositions and transcriptions of testimony are being conducted.
“We write to demand the release of the rules that are governing the depositions and transcribed interviews being conducted by the joint action of your three committees,” nearly 80 GOP lawmakers said in their Friday letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats want Mulvaney to testify in Trump impeachment probe Republicans seek to delay effort to censure Schiff after Cummings’ death Schiff: Mulvaney comments on Ukraine aid have made things ‘much, much worse’ MORE (D-Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelTestimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe House Foreign Affairs leaders introduce Turkey sanctions bill MORE (D-N.Y.) and Oversight and Reform Committee acting Chairwoman Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Washington mourns loss of Elijah Cummings Maloney to serve as acting Oversight chairwoman after Cummings’s death Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 MORE (D-N.Y.)
“The secrecy in which these depositions and interviews are being conducted, and the lack of clarity on the rules that govern attendance and access to records, are deeply concerning in the context of such a serious inquiry,” the letter read.
GOP members have been vocal in their criticisms of how Democrats have carried out the impeachment process thus far, alleging it is politically motivated and has lacked transparency. The lawmakers highlighted that multiple attempts to gain access to the closed-door impeachment hearings have repeatedly been rebuffed for members who don’t sit on any of the three panels.
“You have consistently denied non-committee Members their right to attend these depositions and interviews without specifying any authority to do so. House regulations clearly permit all House members to attend depositions,” they continued.
“You have also consistently denied the right of non-committee members to view the transcripts of depositions and interviews without specifying any authority to do so. These transcripts are committee records. Committee records that are the property of the whole House and under House rules, no Member can be denied access to committee records.”
The letter was led by House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and signed by 76 GOP lawmakers including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyRepublicans seek to delay effort to censure Schiff after Cummings’ death House leaders offer tributes from floor to Elijah Cummings The comments and actions of Schiff demand his formal censure MORE (Calif.), Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseRepublicans seek to delay effort to censure Schiff after Cummings’ death Schiff says committees will eventually make impeachment inquiry transcripts public Kinzinger challenges Trump’s defense chief on Syria in closed-door meeting MORE (La.) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyRepublicans seek to delay effort to censure Schiff after Cummings’ death House Foreign Affairs leaders introduce Turkey sanctions bill Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings MORE (R-Wyo.).
The members requested the information on the rules be provided by Tuesday.
Democrats have vehemently defended the way they have been conducting the inquiry, with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocratic senator rips Trump’s ‘let them fight’ remarks: ‘Enough is enough’ Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: ‘Sometimes you have to let them fight’ Mattis responds to Trump criticism: ‘I guess I’m the Meryl Streep of generals’ MORE (D-Calif.) asserting they are not required under the Constitution to hold a floor vote to launch a formal impeachment probe. House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHillicon Valley: Zuckerberg defends handling of misinformation in political ads | Biden camp hits Zuckerberg over remarks | Dem bill would jail tech execs for lying about privacy | Consumer safety agency accidentally disclosed personal data House leaders offer tributes from floor to Elijah Cummings Maloney to serve as acting Oversight chairwoman after Cummings’s death MORE (D-Md.) noted that Schiff has stated transcripts of the depositions and documents will be made available to members after the committees concludes collecting testimony from witnesses.
“What he doesn’t want is to have the witnesses reading each other’s testimony and parroting it,” Hoyer said on the House floor on Friday. “That’s a fair thing, to make sure that we don’t have one witness just simply adopting the testimony of another witness. We want the truth, not parroting of other information.”