Tomorrow the House is expected to vote on the protocols for moving forward into a public phase on impeachment. This needs only a majority vote, so I assume it should pass.
Tierney Sneed writes at TPM that the protocols give Trump considerable due process privileges.
The President’s lawyers would be able to respond to the presentations related to the probe given to the House Judiciary Committee. They may also be able to cross-examine witnesses in the Judiciary Committee and raise objections to the evidence being presented in those proceedings. Additionally, under the procedures, the President may offer evidence or request other testimony for the proceedings, but whether such evidence is “necessary or desirable to a full and fair record in the inquiry,” will be up to the committee.
But here’s the catch:
A provision in the package says that if the President “unlawfully” refuses “to make witnesses available for testimony to, or to produce documents requested by” the committees currently leading the impeachment probe, the House Judiciary Committee chairman will have the right to deny the due process procedures outlined in the procedures.
Hah. Here’s what else you need to know, by Li Zou at Vox:
The resolution outlines five key aspects of these procedures:
- The Intelligence Committee will release public transcripts of private depositions that it’s held with different witnesses, including potential redactions of sensitive information.
- When the House moves to public hearings for the impeachment inquiry, both the chair and ranking members of the Intelligence committee will be able to ask witness questions. The staff counsel on both sides will also have up to 45 minutes each to ask questions.
- House Republicans on the Intelligence Committee will have the ability to request subpoenas of witnesses and documents, though they will need the approval of the Democratic Chair or majority on the panel in order for their requests to go through. This is consistent with past impeachment inquiries.
- The Judiciary Committee is in charge of advancing articles of impeachment, or charges, if those are brought.
- The president and his legal representation will be able to participate in the Judiciary Committee impeachment proceedings. This includes the ability to make their case and offer evidence, request documents, cross-examine witnesses and object to testimony.
These protocols are in line with how such hearings have been conducted in the past. Note that ranking members may ask questions. Republicans are not shut out. Although to listen to them, they are. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise blasted the proposed protocols as a “Soviet-style process” that “continues to deny the White House an opportunity to participate in this process.” Which is not true, but typical.