In a late-breaking shifty move if ever there was, Adam Schiff is locking out members of the GOP as the impeachment inquiry deposes its first witness.
This is no ordinary witness – Kurt Volker was a U.S. envoy to Ukraine and could provide key testimony that could damage Trump.
It is worth noting that he works or worked at the John McCain institute and was a never Trumper (he never signed the famous letter but he is one).
The freeze out will limit the GOP ability to get their own answers as the impeachment inquiry starts.
From MSN: House Republicans are demanding an “equal playing field” in the Democrat-led impeachment probe against President Trump after Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said ahead of Thursday’s scheduled testimony from former U.S. envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker that GOP members of the Foreign Affairs Committee will not be permitted to ask questions or have equal representation during the hearing.
The lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee wrote Wednesday evening: “I was alarmed to learn — less than 24 hours before the first interview is scheduled to start — that it will be led by the Intelligence Committee and that questioning will be done solely by their staff.”
“We were told that only a single Republican professional staffer from the Foreign Affairs Committee will be allowed to attend while the majority will have two,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, the committee’s ranking member, continued.
“These constraints on committee and Republican participation are unacceptable and at odds with House Rules and general fairness. We demand equal representation and participation in this inquiry, there is too much at stake for America and Congress.”
In the letter addressed to Chairman Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y., McCaul further argued that despite statements made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Democrats, “there is not a ‘House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry” because the entire House has not voted on the matter.
Citing House Rules X and XI, McCaul said that until Congress members from both parties vote to create a special impeachment task force to carry out proceedings, “Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff lacks the jurisdiction to investigate the Department of State’s conduct of United States foreign policy toward Ukraine. That prerogative belongs to our Members.”
“Official impeachment inquiries are initiated by the adoption of a House resolution empowering or creating a committee or task force to undertake such activities,” McCaul continued.
“In both the Nixon and Clinton cases, the Judiciary Committee debated and reported a resolution authorizing the Judiciary Committee to investigate whether there were sufficient grounds to impeach the President, which was then debated and voted on by the full House of Representatives. There have been no such debates or votes in this Congress.”