Republicans move to delegitimize impeachment probe

Republicans are stepping up their attacks on the formal impeachment inquiry being conducted by three House committees run by Democrats from a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility in the basement of the Capitol.

 The ‘grand-jury-like’ inquiry is proceeding without a full vote of the House of Representatives. They have denied President Donald Trump the right to cross-examine witnesses, to call witnesses, to receive transcripts of testimony, to have access to evidence and to have counsel present.

They are moving rapidly toward formulating articles of impeachment without any evidence the president committed any “high crimes or misdemeanors.”

Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) condemned the House impeachment proceedings Thursday as a “closed door, illegitimate impeachment inquiry.”

He announced his intention to hold a press conference at 3 p.m. E.T. announcing a resolution condemning the inquiry and requiring that any impeachment articles against President Donald Trump be “dismissed in the Senate without a trial.” The legislation is co-sponsored by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, signaling it could garner widespread Republican support.

A group of House Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), barged into the basement SCIF Wednesday. House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff chose to temporarily suspend the proceedings, delaying the testimony of Pentagon official Laura Cooper for five hours.

President Trump tweeted Thursday: Thank you to House Republicans for being tough, smart, and understanding in detail the greatest Witch Hunt in American History. It has been going on since long before I even got Elected (the Insurance Policy!). A total Scam!”

Several Democrats told the Washington Post that they may open the inquiry to the public in the middle of November. This will be too little, too late. Democrats have already tainted the process and Republicans should reject this proposal immediately. The inquiry needs to be aborted because any evidence they have already gathered was obtained improperly.

Democrats seem to think Republicans will overlook their refusal to give the president and his team access to the evidence they have already compiled without cross examination, after denying subpoena powers and coordinating the release of damaging leaks.

 Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity unleashed on the closed-door inquiry Wednesday, noting “this has never happened in history, frankly no due process, no legitimacy.”

“Now, let this be a very clear warning to [Rep. Adam] Schiff, and [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and Democrats everywhere,” Hannity said. “Well, this secret Soviet-style impeachment coup attempt, this cannot stand. We do have a constitution. We do have precedents. We do have something called due process,” said Hannity.

“Now, it’s obvious the corrupt, cowardly Adam Schiff, he doesn’t want you, the American people, to know the whole truth. He doesn’t want you to watch this kangaroo court process,” Hannity said. “This so-called impeachment inquiry is one big corrupt hoax, one big massive lie,” he concluded.

Democrats need to understand that the House of Representatives belongs to the people, not them, and they will be bound by the Constitution, whether they like it or not. Any deviation from an open, fair and rule-bound process that respects the president’s rights under the Constitution will not be tolerated.