Brooks Opposes Partisan Impeachment Inquiry Authorization
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) provided the following statement regarding her opposition of the impeachment inquiry authorization:
“As history illustrates, impeachment proceedings should only be commenced under the gravest of circumstances, which is why it has only happened three times before in our Nation’s history. When impeachment proceedings are initiated in the House of Representatives, the process laid out must be fair, transparent, and afford due process to the President. Previous impeachment inquiries set this standard, and I am disappointed Speaker Pelosi chose politics over a fair process. This entirely partisan resolution allows Chairman Schiff to act as the sole arbitrator over what information is heard, viewed, or considered. Process, fairness, and learning all the facts matters, but are not being considered by Speaker Pelosi or Chairman Schiff,” stated Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks. “For these reasons, I voted against this unprecedented impeachment process. Every American deserves to know their Member of Congress is equipped with all the necessary facts and information needed to cast a vote for their constituents on what is considered the gravest of constitutional questions, removal of a President of the United States from office.”
H. Res. 660 is a partisan resolution, which outlines investigative procedures for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). It would authorize the House Committee on the Judiciary to then conduct impeachment proceedings relating to the HPSCI investigation. This resolution sets out a very different process than was followed in the prior impeachment inquiries.
During the Clinton/Nixon impeaching proceedings, bipartisan agreement was required throughout the process. This resolution does not require bipartisan agreement.
The Clinton impeachment commenced at the conclusion of an independent, nonpartisan special counsel investigation. This resolution presupposes Chairman Schiff’s investigation’s findings by authorizing the Judiciary Committee to recommend articles of impeachment. There is no independence in this process.
During the Clinton impeachment, President Clinton’s counsel was invited to attend all hearings, including those behind closed doors. This resolution allows the President no rights until the conclusion of Chairman Schiff’s investigation. Then Chairman Nadler of Judiciary Committee has unilateral authority to deny any request of the President or his counsel to be present.
During the Clinton and Nixon impeachment proceedings, either the chair or ranking member could object to a subpoena and either the chair or ranking member could request witnesses. This resolution allows the minority party neither of those rights previously granted. Moreover, if the minority wishes to call a witness, this resolution requires the minority to provide a detailed written justification of the relevance of the testimony. This further underscores the lack of independence in the investigation by assuming all testimony is known and judged prior to be given.
The resolution does not require Chairman Schiff to publicly release the transcripts of all depositions and interviews. It does not require Chairman Schiff to transfer all records or materials, including exculpatory records or materials to the Judiciary Committee. The resolution lets the Chairman, without input from the minority party, to choose what information is shared.