House Democrats Present: The Impeachment Circus
Published 8:16 am Monday, November 18, 2019
BY REP. PHIL ROE
With only limited time remaining this year, House Democrats are spending another week on their sham impeachment inquiry against President Trump instead of working on priorities that actually improve people’s lives. Since the end of September when Speaker Pelosi announced she was unilaterally beginning impeachment proceedings, Congress has failed to make progress on a host of priorities. House Democrats and Republicans were closing in on bipartisan agreements to end the practice of surprise medical billing and to help reduce the cost of prescription drugs. We have been waiting for months on passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to improve our trade laws for American workers. We have failed to make meaningful progress on bipartisan legislation to address the troubling number of veterans who are committing suicide. On top of that, government funding expires next week. The House of Representatives is wasting time on a partisan impeachment circus based on nothing more than political opposition — not broken laws.
After interviewing witnesses for weeks behind closed doors and selectively leaking details to shape the narrative, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) Chairman Adam Schiff now are moving forward with an orchestrated process that has one goal in mind — impeaching the president. Chairman Schiff is also bucking historical precedent by refusing to allow the minority co-subpoena power. Republicans requested 10 witnesses to question, and Chairman Schiff has not agreed to question any of them. If he is so certain President Trump committed a crime, Republicans should certainly be allowed to call witnesses who might refute or provide different context to those claims. Unfortunately, Chairman Schiff decided it is better to withhold information and promote a false narrative than let the American people hear all the facts. Chairman Schiff has even blocked non-HPSCI members from reading transcripts or observe hearings.
The most glaring omission is the absence of the whistleblower’s testimony. It’s been noted several times the whistleblower did not have first-hand knowledge of the material in the complaint. Where was the information obtained? Who was the information shared with? Did the whistleblower coordinate with Democrats on Capitol Hill? It’s been revealed in media reports the whistleblower not only had a prior working relationship with one of the Democrat candidates for president, but also that he or she asked Chairman Schiff and his staff for guidance before filing the complaint. That’s why from day one, this has been a political, one-sided farce. It’s also important to note the whistleblower statute protects any whistleblower who comes forward from professional retaliation. The statute does not guarantee anonymity, and it certainly does not prevent whistleblowers from being asked follow-up questions about their concerns.
Let’s set the record straight. The transcript of the call that happened on July 25 between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky — which every witness who heard the call confirms is an accurate representation of what was discussed — showed no pressure or threats to Ukraine to investigate President Trump’s political opponents. Both President Trump and President Zelensky have repeatedly stated there was no pressure. Testimony has also revealed Ukraine was not aware that American aid was under review at the time of the phone call. Furthermore, Ukraine received all of its funding — without having to undertake any action that the administration was seeking. This is not a quid pro quo. In fact, Democrats have failed to identify a single statute that has been broken in their rush to impeach the president.
Rather than settling their differences at the ballot box next year, House Democrats are doing everything in their power to try to remove President Trump from office with a Soviet-style impeachment inquiry designed to find evidence that supports their pre-determined outcome. I will continue speaking out about the lack of evidence and flawed process being used to attack the president and will continue exposing this sham process on behalf of my constituents. Despite this impeachment circus, I will continue working for East Tennesseans to help grow our economy, rebuild our military, protect and serve our veterans, and enact patient-centered health care reforms.