Rep. Devin Nunes of California and other Republicans may get to call their witnesses in the House impeachment inquiry after all, thanks to a clause cited in a letter signed by nine GOP representatives.
The Thursday letter appears to exploit a loophole in an attempt to bring forward witnesses denied by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
The California Democrat previously denied many of Republicans’ witness requests, a power he was granted after a rule change earlier in the month.
According to Nunes’ letter, the newfound clause is “not displaced” by the rule change.
Among other witnesses, the congressman attempted to call the whistleblower and Schiff himself to testify in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
“Although Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi promised that Democrats would ‘treat the President with fairness,’” Nunes wrote, “you have repeatedly prevented Republicans from fully and fairly examining issues central to the Democrat’s ‘impeachment inquiry.’
“Therefore, pursuant to House Rule XI, Clause 2(j)(1), we, the undersigned Republican Members of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, exercise our right to convene a hearing with witnesses selected by the Minority to testify in the Democrats’ ‘impeachment inquiry.’”
Chairman Adam Schiff has repeatedly denied fundamental fairness and due process throughout the course of this sham impeachment.
RT if you agree that he should stop blocking important witnesses from testifying. pic.twitter.com/TyFWxpzFwm
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 21, 2019
To wade through the mountain of text that is the House rulebook and find these small clauses absolutely takes an eagle eye.
According to an official copy of the Rules of the House of Representatives, it looks like Nunes is onto something here.
“Whenever a hearing is conducted by a committee on a measure or matter,” House Rule XI, Clause 2(j)(1) states, “the minority members of the committee shall be entitled, upon request to the chair by a majority of them before the completion of the hearing, to call witnesses selected by the minority to testify with respect to that measure or matter during at least one day of hearing thereon.”
If Nunes and his Republican colleagues are right in their gamble, this could mean they get to call their witnesses.
Considering all the damning evidence that seemingly undermines the whistleblower’s report, this could be a move that totally eviscerates the impeachment inquiry against Trump.
Imagine Adam Schiff, called as a witness in a public hearing before the entire nation, answering questions about his involvement with the whistleblower.
The whistleblower himself also could be called, which would shine a much-needed light on the origins of this partisan push to oust the president.
Although it’s unclear if Schiff and fellow Democrats will accept this clause at all, it signals Republicans are keeping up the pressure on an impeachment process that has much of the nation skeptical.
As of now, it’s looking like Democrats’ options to oust Trump are growing slimmer by the day.