Democrats in the US House of Representatives announced earlier in the week their intention to submit the resolution by Thursday, which they hope will nullify concerns raised by the White House and Republicans that the impeachment inquiry process lacks transparency.
Democrats just put out this fact sheet about the resolution highlighting key parts of it.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) October 29, 2019
This gives Republicans some of what they were demanding including President Trump and his lawyers having access to evidence and being able to cross examine witnesses. pic.twitter.com/qxviYkHJqG
The eight-page draft resolution describes the processes that will govern the probe, including open hearings and specific time limits for questioning. The process will be managed by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is presided over by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), with Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) being the ranking minority member. The resolution requires the Intelligence Committee chair, along with the chairs of the Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Reform committees, "to issue a report setting forth its findings and any recommendations and appending any information and materials the Permanent Select Committee may deem appropriate with respect to the investigation described in the first section of this resolution" and to "make such report publicly available in electronic form, with appropriate redactions to protect classified and other sensitive information."
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Schiff, along with House Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Foreign Affairs Committee chair Eliot Engel (D-NY), and acting Oversight Committee chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), said the resolution would "provide a pathway forward" for the impeachment inquiry. The House is probing US President Donald Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in which Trump tried to enlist Ukrainian help investigating former US Vice President Joe Biden.
"The evidence we have already collected paints the picture of a president who abused his power by using multiple levers of government to press a foreign country to interfere in the 2020 election. Following in the footsteps of previous impeachment inquiries, the next phase will move from closed depositions to open hearings where the American people will learn firsthand about the president's misconduct," the statement reads.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Tuesday he and other GOP lawmakers would be reviewing the language of the House resolution to see if it passes a "smell test" of fairness for the president.
Tuesday evening, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham issued a statement objecting to the text of the resolution.
"The resolution put forward by Speaker Pelosi confirms that House Democrats’ impeachment has been an illegitimate sham from the start as it lacked any proper authorization by a House vote," Grisham said. "It continues this scam by allowing Chairman Schiff, who repeatedly lies to the American people, to hold a new round of hearings, still without any due process for the President."
"The White House is barred from participating at all, until after Chairman Schiff conducts two rounds of one-sided hearings to generate a biased report for the Judiciary Committee. Even then, the White House's rights remain undefined, unclear, and uncertain – because those rules still haven’t been written," Grisham continued, noting the resolution "does nothing to change the fundamental fact that House Democrats refuse to provide basic due process rights to the Administration."