A sharply divided House voted Thursday to approve a resolution establishing the partisan procedures for the impeachment “inquiry” as set by U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).
The measure passed largely along party lines, 232-196, with two Democrats defecting on the vote. According to one Republican, that vote will come back to haunt the Democrats.
During the Republicans’ press conference following the vote, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) congratulated Pelosi on her dubious achievement.
“In a way, you can say congratulations to Nancy Pelosi,” Zeldin said. “She wanted a bipartisan vote on her impeachment resolution and she got it. It was a bipartisan vote against her impeachment inquiry resolution.”
He added: “There are a number of Democrats who chose to vote the wrong way. They should have voted no and they won’t be here to serve with us anymore come January of 2021. Nancy Pelosi, as leader of her conference, has chosen to sacrifice a few of her own members. Those members are going to lose for all of the right reasons.”
It was the fourth frivolous vote Democrats have held on impeachment since December 2017, when 58 Democrats voted to impeach the president for the “high crime” of tweeting unfavorably about the NFL “National Anthem” protests. On January 19, 2018, 66 Democrats voted to advance impeachment for the “high crime” of referring to “sh—hole” countries. By July 17, 2019, Democrats were getting closer with 95 votes to advance impeachment, this time for the “high crime” of insulting “the Squad.”
October 31, 2019
231 Dems and Justin Amash voted to authorize the existing impeachment investigations. All Rs and two Dems voted no. No charge specified. pic.twitter.com/shWjTjbKkZ
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) October 31, 2019
During Thursday’s press conference, Zeldin complained that the process established by Democrats will continue to allow Schiff to withhold unclassified interview transcripts from public scrutiny, bar Republicans from calling witnesses, and bar the president’s counsel from being able to cross-examine witnesses and present evidence.
The congressman ripped Schiff, calling him, “the prosecutor, the judge, the jury, the chief strategist for lying and leaking.” He added, “a couple of days ago, he [Schiff] crossed into this new territory called ‘witness coaching’ and he wasn’t very good at it.”
Zeldin went on to note that the purpose of the Intelligence Committee is to look into intelligence matters, but that Schiff had “decided two days ago in his most recent rule change” that lawmakers would no longer be allowed to ask questions related to the Intelligence Community.
Pointing to the assembled media, he said, “you all are being used,” while noting that some of them are fine with that and others are not.
Because the depositions are being held in secret, Dems are able to feed inaccurate information to reporters.
“There was one story that came out yesterday in Politico that was filled with falsehoods,” he said, probably referring to Natasha Bertrand’s report about an associate of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) who had supposedly “misrepresented himself” as a Ukraine expert.
“Just somebody lied to you,” he said. “I watched CNN last night and I saw a host—one allegation after another—say stuff that just was not true.”
“Your sources—those Dems in that bunker—are trying to create a narrative because Adam Schiff aspires to write the world’s greatest parody,” he explained.
Zeldin added that right now, Schiff was “ripping up his parody” and having to rewrite it because the latest deposition wasn’t going so well for him.
“Isn’t it kind of curious that we don’t know what’s going on today with Tim Morrison in his deposition?” Zeldin needled the media. “Why is it that you don’t have the information, the opening statements,” the congressman asked. “He was Alex Vindman’s boss,” he added, referring to the Democrat’s “star witness” who testified on Tuesday about his “concerns” regarding the president’s July phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The reason for the information blackout was that Morrison, a top National Security Council (NSC) official who listened in on the Ukraine phone call, testified that he did not believe Trump had discussed anything illegal during the conversation.
“I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed,” Morrison testified Thursday, according to a record of his remarks obtained by the Federalist.
Morrison testified that Ukrainian officials were not even aware that certain military funding had been delayed by the Trump administration until late August 2019, more than a month after the Trump-Zelensky call, casting doubt on allegations that Trump somehow conveyed an illegal quid pro quo demand during the July 25 call.
“I have no reason to believe the Ukrainians had any knowledge of the [military funding] review until August 28, 2019,” Morrison said. That is the same day that Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chief anti-Trump inquisitor in the U.S. House of Representatives, disclosed on Twitter that funding had been held up. Politico also published a story that day, sourced to anonymous leaks, that military funding had been temporarily held up.
The Federalist reported that Morrison also “pointed out key factual inaccuracies” in testimony provided by another one of Schiff’s “star witnesses,” William Taylor, a longtime diplomat who works in the U.S. embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Morrison said that, contrary to Taylor’s claims, Morrison never met with the Ukrainian National Security adviser in his private hotel room.
Morrison also said Taylor falsely claimed that Ambassador Gordon Sondland demanded a public statement from the Ukrainian president committing to investigate Burisma, a controversial Ukrainain energy company that paid Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son Hunter millions of dollars to sit on its board.
Earlier this month, American Greatness reported that a staffer for Schiff attended a suspicious meeting in Ukraine in August with Taylor that was organized by a Burisma-funded think tank linked to the Steele dossier.
Republicans are understandably frustrated that these damning details are being hidden from the public.
“Adam Schiff needs to release all the transcripts right now!” Zeldin cried Thursday, as his colleagues applauded in agreement.
On behalf of our constituents, on behalf of the American public, for everyone who’s pissed about being mislead by Adam Schiff and his cohorts hiding in the bunker of the Capitol basement, using you to lie to our constituents, release the darn transcripts, let’s have a conversation about substance because I’ll tell you what, you’re losing the conversation about process—bring it on about substance because our president was right to be concerned about corruption.
Our president was right in wanting to look into interference into the 2016 election, and the president of the United States is right to be concerned about a corrupt foreign company run by a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch, hiring the son of a vice president with no energy experience and no Ukrainian experience for at least—$50,000 a month, and then the vice president of the United States—who was literally the most conflicted person in the Obama administration to be running point with Ukraine—goes over to Ukraine and threatens the loss of One billion dollars if they don’t immediately fire the prosecutor who had an open investigation into Burisma and Zlochevsky [the owner].
“I don’t believe that Zlochevsky, Burisma, Joe Biden, and Hunter Biden should be immune from scrutiny just because Joe Biden is running for president. And if that’s not illegal it should be illegal!” Zeldin exclaimed, as his colleagues erupted in applause.
“On the substance I say, bring it on!” he repeated. “And release the darn transcripts and do it today!”