(TNS) After Democrats in the House voted to return two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) surprised everyone in a follow-on press conference when she said she had no plans at present to send them to the Senate for trial, as the Constitution prescribes.
That was “never part of the conversation,” she claimed.
What gives, she was asked. Well, there’s no sense in sending over articles of impeachment to the Senate unless she’s guaranteed a “fair trial,” whatever that means.
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Fairness, then, became the issue that was suddenly all-important…despite the fact that her party didn’t show much of it to House Republicans during impeachment inquiries before the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, the latter led by Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y., above).
And let’s recall, shall we, that most of the inquiries held by Schiff were done in secret — in a secure hearing room in the basement of the U.S. Capitol Building.
Speaking of those secret hearings, a Republican lawmaker is now blasting Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler, et al for failing to release the transcripts of witnesses who testified before Schiff’s committee. Why is that, if, after all, Democrats have sure-fire evidence proving that President Trump committed impeachable offenses?
But that’s’ the point Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) is trying to make: Pelosi & Co. have nothing on the president, which is why a) no transcripts have been released; and b) Pelosi hasn’t sent the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
Burgess also noted that Pelosi is breaking House rules by refusing to make the transcripts available even to fellow House members.
Burgess made the remarks during an interview on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” with co-host Molly Line, where he said Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) goal with impeachment was to “politically harm the president at the beginning of a political year.”
“You think they are stalling in essence to continue digging?” Line asked. “That they’re hoping they find something more?”
“Look, they had all the tools at their disposal up on the House side. They made it secret, not just behind locked doors, but with armed guards outside the doors,” Burgess responded.
“They still haven’t made all of the transcripts available to members of Congress and, according to House rules, any committee hearing is supposed to be – the transcript is supposed to be available to other House members, but they have not done so, and no one has asserted that these are classified briefings; they were just simply secret hearings because it behooved the speaker to have secret hearings. That doesn’t pass muster. That’s not a constitutional part of the process.”
A Senate impeachment trial may not be quite like a courtroom trial, but nevertheless the defendant — in this case, the president of the United States — is entitled to all evidence, including exculpatory evidence.
Democrats, however, see it differently.
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