House Republicans Call Out Democrats Over Secrecy on Impeachment Process, Demand Release of Rules Governing Inquiry

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Posted: Oct 18, 2019 8:35 PM
House Republicans Call Out Democrats Over Secrecy on Impeachment Process, Demand Release of Rules Governing Inquiry

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and 76 of his Republican colleagues are demanding transparency from three House Committee Chairs on the rules governing the depositions and interviews being conducted in the impeachment inquiry. 

"The secrecy in which these depositions and interviews are being conducted, and the lack of clarity on the rules that govern attendance and access to records, are deeply concerning in the context of such a serious inquiry,” House Republicans wrote Friday to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Oversight and Reform Committee acting Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).

The letter raises concern over how Democrats have been conducting the impeachment inquiry, specifically citing how non-committee members have been blocked from attending depositions and interviews.

“House regulations clearly permit all House members to attend depositions,” the letter states. “You have also consistently denied the right of non-committee members to view the transcripts of depositions and interviews without specifying any authority to do so. These transcripts are committee records. Committee records are the property of the whole House and under House rules, no Member can be denied access to committee records.”

The lawmakers call on Schiff, Engel, and Maloney to release information about the rules no later than Tuesday. 

Earlier this week Biggs and a group of House Republicans were denied access to the secure area the three committees were conducting depositions and interviews for the impeachment inquiry.

"If you would have a formal impeachment inquiry, you wouldn’t be having Soviet-style secret hearings where we have to go plead and say 'can we come in?'" Biggs told reporters Wednesday. "Rules of the House are meant to protect the minority…to make sure there’s fairness and due process."