Cory Gardner Signs On To Senate Resolution Condemning House Impeachment Inquiry

October 25, 2019
Cory GardnerCory GardnerSusan Walsh/AP
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., listens to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

Colorado Republicans are joining their party's effort to push back on how House Democrats have managed the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Sen. Cory Gardner is the latest to sign on.

Friday afternoon, Gardner added his name to a resolution sponsored by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. The Senate resolution condemns Democratic leaders for not holding a formal vote before opening their inquiry.

"I had hoped Speaker Pelosi would turn away from the sharp partisanship that has driven the House process but she has not," Gardner said in a statement. "I hope people will read the resolution and that everyone supports a fair and transparent process. This resolution shouldn’t be necessary, but when a serious investigation to get all of the facts turns into a political circus, it’s necessary to be reminded of it."

Gardner was relatively late to add his name to the resolution. Graham unveiled it Thursday and by late afternoon that day, The Washington Post had reported that Gardner was one of just nine GOP senators not yet listed as a cosponsor.

Graham later tweeted Friday he had 50 co-sponsors and Gardner was among them.

Congressional Democrats argue a vote of the House is not necessary to start impeachment proceedings under the constitution, although lawmakers did vote before inquiries were launched against President Richard Nixon in 1974 and President Bill Clinton in 1998. Bolstering that argument, a judge ruled Friday in favor of the Democratic position, finding that the investigation underway does legal qualify as an impeachment inquiry. The New York Times reports the Justice Department is reviewing the decision.

Colorado GOP Congressmen Stand With SCIF Protest

Earlier in the week, a handful of House Republicans staged a more direct protest of House tactics. They stormed into the House Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, a highly secure room designed to prevent foreign spying on sensitive Congressional proceedings.

Committees involved in the impeachment inquiry have been using the SCIF to hear from witnesses and read classified testimony.

The protest has been criticized by many who note that, by bringing in cell phones, House Republicans may have compromised the room's security.

No Colorado Republicans participated in the action, but Colorado Springs Rep. Doug Lamborn reportedly arrived in the secure room somewhat later.

Rep. Ken Buck, who as a member of both the Judiciary Committee and Foreign Relations has access to the inquiry materials, wrote an editorial in support of his colleague's efforts to make the impeachment inquiry public. The two committees that Buck is a member of are part of the six overseeing the impeachment inquiry.

"Democrats are selectively disseminating information from these closed-door proceedings to unfairly characterize President Trump’s actions," Buck wrote on Fox News. "This is occurring before witness transcripts can be released to the public to put these statements in proper context."

Democrats have pushed back that secrecy has long been the norm for Congressional depositions, including the Republicans' own inquiry into the Benghazi attack.

Perlmutter, who has taken a more moderate stance on impeachment than many of his Democratic Colorado colleagues, called the Republican storming of the SCIF "unprecedented" obstruction.

Democratic leaders say they intend to begin public impeachment hearings in mid-November.

Read More: Judge Orders DOJ To Hand Over Mueller Material, Validates Impeachment Probe (via NPR.org)