Republicans Grind Impeachment Inquiry to Halt as Picture Darkens for Trump

Commentary

House Republicans storm secure suite on Capitol Hill where the impeachment inquiry was being held

The New York Times reported today that, “House Republicans ground the impeachment inquiry to a halt on Wednesday, staging an attention-grabbing protest at the Capitol that sowed chaos and derailed a crucial deposition as they sought to insulate President Trump against mounting evidence of misconduct.

“The day after the most damning testimony yet about Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign to enlist Ukraine to smear his political rivals, House Republicans stormed into the secure office suite where impeachment investigators have been conducting private interviews that have painted a damaging picture of the president’s behavior — and refused to leave. 

“Chanting ‘Let us in! Let us in!’ about two dozen Republican lawmakers — most of whom are not on the committees conducting the inquiry and are therefore not entitled to attend their hearings — pushed past Capitol Police officers to enter the secure rooms of the House Intelligence Committee, which is leading the investigation. Republicans who are on the committees have been in on the hearings from the start and have heard all the witnesses.

“’This is a Soviet-style process,’ declared Representative Steve Scalise, the No. 2 Republican. ‘It should not be allowed in the United States of America. Every member of Congress ought to be allowed in that room. The press ought to be allowed in that room.’”

Wait, what? 

We’re talking about Trump. Aren’t we the ones who should be storming the barricades?

Yes we should. But truthfully, this is the only thing Republicans have left…attacking the process and diverting attention. They want everything out in the open, even though Republican Congressmen from the appropriate committees are attending the closed-door hearings…and coming out of those meeting lying about what they heard or read (can you say Devin Nunes?). 

What the Dems are doing now, like it or not, is gathering evidence to determine whether to bring charges or not. As has been written many times before, and as Chuck Rosenberg, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and Chief of Staff to the Director of the FBI agreed today, impeachment is like a trial and evidence gathering is part of the process. 

It works like this…impeachment in the House is like a grand jury gathering evidence. An important part of that evidence gathering is deposing potential witnesses. Should it be done in private? Debatable, perhaps, but depositions are generally done privately with both sides present, as is happening now. Then, once the decision is made to bring charges, in this case, open impeachment hearings in the House, the people being deposed will testify in public.

So the GOP can storm all they want, but eventually they’ll get what they want: open hearings. I trust they’re smart enough to realize that they should really be careful about what they wish for.

Oh right, Republican Congressmen. Probably not smart enough.

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy.

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