Republican representatives are becoming increasingly fed up with the closed-door proceedings against President Donald Trump being held by Democrats, and Rep. Dan Crenshaw just showed the American people exactly why.
Crenshaw, the Navy SEAL-turned-Republican congressman from Texas, used Twitter on Wednesday to speak directly to his constituents.
In a video shot at the Capitol, the eye patch-wearing combat vet pointed out a glaring problem with the partisan impeachment interviews being held behind closed doors.
“Chairman Adam Schiff says that non-committee members can’t have access to all the hearings and depositions that have been happening with respect to the impeachment inquiry,” Crenshaw began, referring to the California Democrat and House Intelligence Committee chairman who has been helping lead the Democratic charge to take down Trump.
“Is that true?” the veteran wondered. “It just so happens, I have a House Rules and Manual right here in front of me, so let’s check the House rules.”
With the video still rolling, Crenshaw opened his official House rulebook and pointed out a key paragraph, which covers committee hearings and records.
Adam Schiff isn't allowing Reps. to see the transcripts from this impeachment inquiry, but selectively leaks small portions to the press. This process should be transparent to the American people. It should be a fair process w/ clear rules, just like past impeachment inquiries. pic.twitter.com/Rg2AKtRHIM
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) October 23, 2019
“Such records shall be the property of the House and each member,” the Texan noted. “Meaning, we can actually go look at them. So, let’s go down to where they keep these records, and see if they’ll give us access.”
(In case you don’t believe him, the rule Crenshaw was referring to can be found at the bottom of page 549 in the document linked here. The full relevant passage reads: “All committee hearings, records, data, charts, and files shall be kept separate and distinct from the congressional office records of the member serving as its chairman. Such records shall be the property of the House, and each Member, Delegate, and the Resident Commissioner shall have access thereto.”)
And with that, Crenshaw and his staff member walked down to the area where Democrats are currently grilling witnesses as part of their efforts to find something — anything — with which to impeach the president.
A few moments later, the congressman emerged from a secure area, and again addressed the camera.
“They won’t let me see it. Big surprise. They say non-committee members can’t review any of these transcripts,” he said.
Crenshaw added that even some committee members told him they’ve been denied access to documents and transcripts from the hearings too. In total, it all makes for a pretty blatant violation of House rules.
So what’s going on? It seems it can all be traced back to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
“Pelosi, a California Democrat, has narrowed access to the closed-door questioning to the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees, and the proceedings have been closed to the public and the press,” the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.
“Republicans demanded House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who is running the proceedings, to allow them inside,” the outlet continued. “Schiff, a California Democrat, refused to speak to the GOP lawmakers seeking admission.”
“Where is the transparency? There’s none,” Crenshaw said in his video, which has more than 500,000 views. “That should frustrate all Americans.”
He’s right on target. No matter one’s politics, one of the tenets of our republic is transparency. We don’t do secret trials, and we don’t exclude duly elected representatives of the people from the political process.
Americans on both sides of the political aisle need to pay attention. This is looking increasingly like a witch hunt, carried out by the same Democrats who desperately tried to do the same thing with the dead-end Mueller report.
For all the promises from the left, Democrats seem to be wasting their time in the House on endless games instead of working on solutions for the American people. That wasn’t why they were elected, and this ploy could backfire in the upcoming elections.