House Democrats’ Impeachment Resolution: No Due Process Now, Maybe Some Later, But Only If We Feel Like It
‘Any such inquiry must be conducted by the highest standards of fairness and due process. But thus far, this time around, instead of setting a high bar, House Democrats seem determined to set a new low…“No due process now, maybe some later, but only if we feel like it” is not a standard that should ever be applied to any American. And it should not be applied here to the president of the United States.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry resolution:
“Yesterday, House Democrats released their much-hyped resolution which was advertised as bringing fairness and due process into Speaker Pelosi’s and Chairman Schiff’s closed-door, partisan inquiry.
“Unfortunately, the draft resolution that has been released does nothing of the sort. It falls way short.
“As I have said repeatedly, an impeachment inquiry is about the most solemn and serious process the House of Representatives can embark on. It seeks to effectively nullify a democratic election and cancel out the American people’s choice of a commander-in-chief.
“For that reason, any such inquiry must be conducted by the highest standards of fairness and due process. But thus far, this time around, instead of setting a high bar, House Democrats seem determined to set a new low.
“Speaker Pelosi has initiated a bizarre process, starting with the fact that she began it with a press conference instead of a proper vote of the House. The process seems to be treating Chairman Schiff as though he were a de facto Special Prosecutor, notwithstanding the fact that he’s a partisan member of Congress whose strange behavior has already included fabricating a lengthy quotation and attributing it to President Trump during an official hearing which he was chairing.
“House Democrats’ inquiry thus far has been conducted behind closed doors. They have denied their Republican counterparts privileges which Democrats received during the Clinton impeachment when they were in the minority.
“And unlike during the inquiries around both President Clinton and President Nixon, they have denied President Trump basic due process rights and are cutting his counsel out of the process in an unprecedented way.
“House Democrats’ new resolution does not change any of that. It does not confer on President Trump the most basic rights of due process or, seemingly, alter Chairman Schiff’s unfair process in the House Intelligence Community in any way whatsoever. Chairman Schiff can continue doing this behind closed doors without the President’s participation, so long as he holds at least one public hearing at some point.
“He’s not even required to make all the evidence he obtains public. He alone gets to decide what evidence goes in his report. And the resolution doesn’t even give the President any rights in the public hearing that it requires Chairman Schiff to hold.
“The resolution merely seems to contemplate that, maybe…someday in the future…at some other phase of this…due process might finally kick in. But only if the House Judiciary Committee feels like holding hearings and calling its own witnesses.
“In other words: ‘No due process now, maybe some later, but only if we feel like it.’
“Well, that is not even close to fair. ‘No due process now, maybe some later, but only if we feel like it’ is not a standard that should ever be applied to any American. And it should not be applied here to the president of the United States.
“I understand that many House Democrats made up their minds on impeachment years ago. But our basic norms of justice do not evaporate just because Washington Democrats have already made up their minds.”