The House Judiciary Committee passed rules for a formal impeachment inquiry/investigation into President Trump Thursday morning, as part of the Democrat majority’s ongoing effort to hobble the president ahead of the 2020 elections.
The resolution passed along party lines, 24-17, with Republicans mocking the move as “an imaginary impeachment hearing” designed to keep the issue alive.
“Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) told reporters Thursday. “There is no legal difference between these terms, and I no longer care to argue about the nomenclature, but what we are doing is carrying on the inqui—an investigation—as to whether to recommend—to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the president.”
Nadler added that Democrats would begin holding “an aggressive series of hearings” next week, “investigating allegations of corruption, obstruction and abuse of power” that “will go far beyond the four corners of the Mueller report.”
Do the Democrats have any idea what they're doing?
Don't seem so frustrated, Jerry. I know it's hard to impeach without a crime when all your hoaxes have come up short! pic.twitter.com/Ay2yrJw0dP
— Elizabeth Harrington (@LizRNC) September 12, 2019
The resolution, which does not need to be approved by the full House, allows Nadler to designate hearings run by the full committee and its subcommittees as part of the impeachment investigation. Additionally, the committee’s lawyers will be able to question witnesses for an hour beyond the five minutes that each member of Congress on the panel is allotted.
Under the new rules, the president’s lawyers will reportedly not be able to respond in writing to evidence and testimony presented to the committee, as testimony can be received in closed session.
A Democratic aide told reporters Monday that the vote was part of “a natural evolution.”
“The committee has intensified its investigation, the evidence has accumulated,” the aide said. “The Mueller hearings were an important inflection point for the members, and this is the next step in the process.”
The Judiciary Committee has scheduled former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to testify on Sept. 17, and has subpoenaed Rick Dearborn, former White House deputy chief of staff for policy, and Rob Porter, former White House staff secretary, to testify on that day as well.
Following the vote Thursday, Beltway media slammed the Democrats’ “incompetent” impeachment follies.
“Why are Democrats in disarray?” Bloomberg asked, calling their various positions on impeachment “a muddle.”
Politico Playbook called the Democrats’ impeachment gambit a “dumpster fire.”
HOUSE DEMOCRATS have been all over the map on what they are trying to do when it comes to impeachment. They can’t decide if they’re impeaching the president, let alone where they are in said process.
THE STATED THEORY BEHIND THIS NON-IMPEACHMENT-IMPEACHMENT PLAY is that so-called frontline Democratic lawmakers — those with tough races in Trump districts — don’t want to have to be a part of an impeachment proceeding.
On Fox News, Texas Republican John Ratcliffe said Democrats are willing to “make or break any rule they need to to impeach” Trump, explaining that the current law requires a vote in the full House on a resolution for Articles of Impeachment. “The problem for the Democrats,” he added, “is that they tried that three times and they failed three times, so today they want to change the rules to keep impeachment alive.”
— America's Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) September 12, 2019
During an appearance on Fox News, Wednesday night, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that the Dems’ “imaginary impeachment hearing means nothing” and “Democrats have no idea what they’re doing.”
Democrats have NO IDEA what they are doing. Right at this moment they are holding an imaginary impeachment hearing that means nothing. But you can't impeach a president who hasn't done anything wrong! pic.twitter.com/0YMdCcqnRu
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) September 12, 2019
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) compared the Democrats’ latest impeachment move to a “giant Instagram filter to make you appear that something’s happening that’s not.”
“The difference between formal impeachment proceedings and what we’re doing today is a world apart no matter what the chairman just said,” he said.
Today’s ambiguity is a product of the chairman's own making because there is an easy way to know exactly whether this committee is in #impeachment proceedings: It’s called a vote. A vote of the full House of Representatives. pic.twitter.com/S5gRonopan
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) September 12, 2019
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) suggested that Nadler’s actions have more to do with “his primary challenge than about the important work of the committee and the country,” prompting audible groans from Democrats.
I would hope that these proceedings are not more about the Chairman’s upcoming primary challenge than about the important work of the committee and the country.
We have circumstances here where Democrats can’t move the country – they have no support for impeachment. pic.twitter.com/aUvlh5rqR4
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) September 12, 2019
As RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel pointed out on Twitter, the Democrats’ ongoing jihad against the president does not poll well their own voters.
Internal Democrat polling shows that only 10% think investigating @realDonaldTrump should be a priority.
Yet that's exactly what House Dems are doing.
Let’s call this bogus impeachment effort for what it is: A never-ending failure to accept that Donald J. Trump won in 2016!
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) September 12, 2019
Nadler’s deeply unpopular impeachment resolution comes on the heels of two special elections that were lost by Democrats earlier this week.