Bardella: Op Ed; Trump rages about impeachment on Twitter, but he has Republicans to blame for the rules

Leah Millis / Reuters file

Trump and his GOP defenders can continue their crusade against the procedures Democrats are using, but those procedures were authorized and utilized by Republicans first.

The irony of course is that if Trump is unhappy with how the impeachment process is unfolding, he has mostly Republicans to blame. After all, they are the ones who have written the rules that impeachment investigations follow.

For all Trump’s griping about lawyers, the House impeachment inquiry isn’t a trial at all. But the reason he won’t have a lawyer representing his interests in the hearings is because Republicans made a point to continue the procedure during the Benghazi investigation. During that investigation, Republican committee members approved rules specifically stipulating that “counsel … for agencies under investigation may not attend.”

Interestingly enough, the effort to expand deposition authority to all congressional committees was spear-headed by Reps. Jim Jordan and former Rep. Mike Pompeo who said, “The ability to interview witnesses in private allows committees to gather information confidentially and in more depth than is possible under the five-minute rule governing committee hearings. This ability is often critical to conducting an effective and thorough investigation.”

Trump officials such as White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, acting-Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Pompeo have refused to testify in a blatant act of obstruction, and yet, Republican chairs took 141 depositions from Clinton officials, including from two White House chiefs of staff, two White House counsels, the vice president’s chief of staff and the first lady’s chief of staff.

Navy Vet

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