The impeachment inquiry process so far is akin to a “kangaroo court” led by Democrats already convinced President Donald Trump is guilty of wrongdoing, Republicans said Tuesday.
House Democrat leaders pursuing the investigation are intent on pushing Trump out of office by any means necessary, Republican lawmakers and the White House argued.
House Democrats have carried out the entire process behind closed doors since the beginning of the impeachment inquiry last month.
The Democrats have even refused to hold a full House vote on authorizing an impeachment inquiry, just as lawmakers did when Congress opened investigations with Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
Trump’s supporters in Congress argue that such a vote is necessary to legitimize the inquiry per the recognized standards of previous impeachment efforts and to give Republicans certain rights in the process, such as the ability to issue subpoenas for witnesses.
The White House challenged House Democrats in an October 8 letter to the Speaker and committee chairmen pursuing the impeachment inquiry.
The White House argued it would not cooperate in the ongoing impeachment investigation and dismissed the proceedings as a mock court focused on overturning the 2016 election results.
Republicans say conducting an impeachment inquiry without a full vote in the House is a departure from previous impeachment inquiries under Nixon and Clinton.
Witnesses called to testify in the so-called impeachment inquiry so far have done so in closed sessions with lawmakers.
Republicans have accused House Democrats of cherry-picking and mischaracterizing evidence, and refusing to release information they say obliterates their accusations of wrongdoing.
House Democrats last week leaked text messages provided by one of the witnesses, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, that appeared damaging to the president, but Republicans said the release of the entire transcript of Volker’s remarks would disprove their allegations.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-AZ), slammed the Democrats for holding “secret hearings” and called on them to release the transcript of Volker’s testimony: