House Democrats are proceeding this week with a resolution that would put the House on record for the ongoing impeachment probe being conducted by several House committees.
The vote will come Thursday, a senior Democratic aide told DailyMail.com.
‘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,’ said the aide.
The move comes as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi updated her colleagues on impeachment, after California Rep. Adam Schiff has overseen weeks of closed depositions following a whistleblower’s complaint about President Trump’s bid to push Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
Democrats will vote on procedures for an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump
The House Rules Committee, which is under tight control of the party leadership, announced Monday it would act this week on legislation ‘Directing certain committees to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, and for other purposes.’
A mark-up of the legislation is scheduled for Wednesday, the day before the vote.
The move comes after Republican critics have blasted Democrats for conducing proceedings in ‘secret’ while meeting in a basement room in the Capitol – a specially secured room designed to protect communications.
‘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,’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told colleagues Monday
President Trump has blasted the inquiry as a ‘witch hunt,’ but a federal judge last week denied an administration claim that without a formal vote on impeachment the House couldn’t get access to documents they want.
Pelosi wrote colleagues Monday afternoon: ‘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,’ she continued. ‘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.”
She cited a letter from 300 legal scholars buttressing the argument that there is no constitutional requirement for a vote.
‘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,’ Pelosi writes – but then indicates the House will go forward with a vote.
‘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,’ she continued.
‘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,’ Pelosi writes, adding: ‘Nobody is above the law.’
A former White House aide and deputy to John Bolton refused to turn up to testify before Congress on Monday as he is waiting on the courts to tell him whether or not he can speak to the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump.
Charles Kupperman was scheduled to appear before the impeachment inquiry on Monday but will not appear
Charles Kupperman was scheduled to appear before the committees conducting the inquiry was a no-show, despite the panel chairmen warning him his absence could result in a contempt of Congress citation.
Kupperman, the former deputy national security adviser who was on Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president, was subpoenaed by lawmakers but told by the White House to disregard the summons, citing executive privilege.
‘Witnesses like Dr. Kupperman need to do their duty and show up,’ House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
This month, White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote Pelosi and Democratic committee chairs a blistering letter where the White House refused to cooperate in their impeachment inquiry.
‘Your inquiry is constitutionally invalid and a violation of due process,’ according to the letter. It told them: ‘Your contrived process is unprecedented in the history of the nation and lacks the necessary authorization for a valid impeachment proceeding.’