When it comes to the Intel Committee, most people are expressing their dislike and disdain for Adam Schiff, who appears to have no intention of following precedent regarding the committee he rules . . . er, leads. We could spend much time parsing the meaning of the telephone transcript, or Adam Schiff’s inability to tell the truth, but I was glad to see the Republicans call out Schiff’s ignoring the rules of the Intel Committee. He’s been busy ignoring or revising the rules to suit his agenda.
Kevin McCarthy finally called for Nancy Pelosi to stop the impeachment inquiry “until transparent and equitable rules and procedures are established to govern the inquiry as is customary.”
From all appearances, the House Intel Committee and Adam Schiff appear to want to control and dominate proceedings and shut out the Republicans as much as possible. I doubt that the Republicans will be able to have him removed. They do, however, have ways to make his rogue activities more difficult.
The first step was the letter by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy demanding House Leader Nancy Pelosi answer specific questions:
Do you intend to hold a vote of the full House authorizing our impeachment inquiry?
Do you intend to involve the full House in each critical step of this inquiry, including defining its scope and establishing its rules and procedures?
Do you intend to grant co-equal subpoena power to both the Chair and Ranking Member at the committee level?
Do you intend to require that all subpoenas be subject to a vote of the full committee at the request of either the Chair or Ranking Member?
Do you intend to provide the President’s counsel the right to attend all hearings and depositions?
Do you intend to provide the president’s counsel the right to present evidence?
Do you intend to provide the president’s counsel the right to object to the admittance of evidence?
Do you intend to provide the president’s counsel the right to cross-examine witnesses?
Do you intend to provide the president’s counsel the right to recommend a witness list?
Do you intend to refer all findings on impeachment to Chairman Nadler and the Judiciary Committee, as prescribed by Rule X of the Rules of the House, or is Chairman Schiff in charge of leading the inquiry as reported in the press?
It’s no surprise that Nancy Pelosi essentially ignored his demand.
Jim Jordan was angry when Schiff tried to limit who could ask Kurt Volker questions and he also refused to allow the State Department Counsel to participate:
We have never, ever had an occasion where agency counsel was not allowed to participate…. And we’ve never seen a chairman suggest that members aren’t allowed to ask questions.
So, if this is how Mr. Schiff is going to conduct these types of interviews in the future, that’s a concern, as well.
That was not a powerful statement, Mr. Jordan.
While Pelosi shrugs her shoulders and calls for the defense of the nation’s security, though, someone might want to note that Schiff is breaking Intel Committee rules and act to stop him. I found some interesting information about some of the procedures that are clearly being violated. If the Republicans are concerned that only Schiff will be able to authorize subpoenas, they should read this rule:
Subpoenas authorized by the Committee for the attendance of witnesses or the production of memoranda, documents, records, or any other material may be issued by the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, or any member of the Committee designated by the Chairman, and may be served by any person designated by the Chairman, Vice Chairman or member issuing the subpoenas. Each subpoena shall have attached thereto a copy of S. Res. 400 of the 94th Congress, and a copy of these rules. [italics are mine]
It’s clear that Devin Nunes, as Vice-Chairman, not just Schiff, can also authorize subpoenas for information and witnesses.
All committee members should also have access to relevant material, as shown below:
Under direction of the Chairman and the Vice Chairman designated Committee staff members shall brief members of the Committee at a time sufficiently prior to any Committee meeting to assist the Committee members in preparation for such meeting and to determine any matter which the Committee member might wish considered during the meeting. Such briefing shall, at the request of a member, include a list of all pertinent papers and other materials that have been obtained by the Committee that bear on matters to be considered at the meeting. [italics are mine]
Again, Devin Nunes has authority to act in this regard.
Finally, please note the restrictions on changing the committee rules:
These Rules may be modified, amended, or repealed by the Committee, provided that a notice in writing of the proposed change has been given to each member at least 48 hours prior to the meeting at which action thereon is to be taken.
These Rules shall continue and remain in effect from one Congress to the next Congress unless they are changed as provided herein.
Now some of you may say that Adam Schiff will ignore these points if they are raised. In response, I think protests should be raised at the next meeting. Noisy protests. Republicans need to be insistent about maintaining the rules. Of course, if Schiff breaks the rules, he should be sanctioned and that act should be public. He could also try to change the rules, but he will only get them passed with a partisan vote. He may get those votes. But the Republicans should publicize it as if he deserved impeachment!
The Republicans need to get aggressive. The time is now.Published in