House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the GOP’s bluff on an impeachment vote.
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote to formalize procedures for the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The resolution authorizes the six committees to continue “their ongoing investigations.” It allows the ranking Republican on the committee the authority to issue subpoenas, with the concurrence of the Democratic chair. And it also authorizes the chair of the House Intelligence Committee to hold open hearings.
In recent weeks, Republicans have been critical of depositions heard behind closed doors. Last week, some Republican members stormed the classified briefing area and staged a sit-in to make their point. Past House investigations have occurred behind closed doors however. At one point, former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy escorted out fellow Republican Rep. Darrell Issa during a Benghazi investigation deposition in June 2015 because Issa was not a member of the committee.
Pelosi, who declined to hold a vote when the matter was first raised by Republicans, said in a letter to House Democrats that the vote will “eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump Administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives."
As much as the Founding Fathers may have hoped that the seriousness of impeachment would mean rising above the partisan fray, it has not. In Colorado, support for impeachment and criticism of the process breaks down along party lines.
So, here’s a refresher on where Colorado’s congress members stand on the impeachment inquiry and the process.
Rep. Diana DeGette (D): The dean of the state’s Congressional delegation is the only member who was around during the Clinton impeachment. Shortly after the release of the redacted Mueller report on April 18, she came out in support of an impeachment investigation. Since then, she has never wavered in her support for the process. After Speaker Pelosi announced the launch of the formal impeachment inquiry on September 24, DeGette released a statement saying the House needs to complete the impeachment inquiry quickly given the threat to national security. “The president’s own admission that he urged a foreign power to intervene in our election process constitutes an impeachable offense.”
Rep. Joe Neguse (D): The freshman democrat waited until May to tweet his support for an impeachment inquiry, although when he was a Rep.-Elect he said the investigation should go where the evidence leads, and there was “sufficient evidence” that President Trump committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Neguse, who’s a member of the Judiciary committee, has said the process is about “rule of law” and not politics. “Donald Trump has abused the Presidency and the law. We must move forward with impeachment immediately,” he said in a statement.
Rep. Scott Tipton (R): The co-chair of President Trump’s re-election effort in Colorado does not support the close-door investigation that was “never voted on or authorized” conducted by Speaker Pelosi and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff. “I believe it is critical that the process is transparent and fair, and that has not been the case, which raises concerns about the credibility of what little is leaking out of the closed proceedings,” he said in a statement. “Instead of correcting course in favor of transparency and fairness, the Speaker has brought to the floor a measure to double-down on their unprecedented closed-door effort to impeach the President without ever requiring her caucus to take a vote on launching formal impeachment proceedings.” That’s a shift from his late September statement where he said calls for impeachment before an investigation was done was premature, and said he was committed to reviewing the facts of any ongoing investigation.
Rep. Ken Buck (R): Buck sits on both the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committee. The former prosecutor says the impeachment process is flawed and the hearings should be public. In an op-ed for Fox News, Buck wrote, “The American people deserve better. If Democrats want to engage in a legitimate impeachment inquiry, the House should follow precedent and immediately hold a vote to authorize an inquiry.” He’s also been using twitter criticize the closed-door nature of the hearings and denying the “GOP access to basic [documents].”
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R): The other co-chair of Trump’s re-election in Colorado has been denied access to transcripts he has sought from the investigation. He’s co-sponsored a resolution censuring House Intelligence chairman Adam Schiff. He has called the House Democratic impeachment process “unconstitutional” and “partisan,” and conducted in a “Soviet style secrecy,” used often by Republican in the past week. “Speaker Pelosi refuses to have a vote to call for impeachment formally, and thus far, there has been zero due process or transparency. Impeachment is the most consequential action outlined in the Constitution, short of a declaration of war, and the Democrats have made a mockery of House proceedings and left a stain on our Republic,” he said in a statement
Rep. Jason Crow (D): The freshmen democrat who flipped a red seat blue has been cautious when it comes to impeachment. He backed the inquiry during the summer. After the whistleblower complaint concerning the Ukraine call, he was one of seven democrats with military and national security background to write an op-ed that said if the allegations in the whistleblower complaint are true it would be an impeachable office. He has said there doesn’t need to be a quid pro quo. He told The Hill, “just him asking a foreing power to interfere in a U.S. election is sufficient enough to us to proceed with this inquiry.”
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D): He’s been cautious when it comes to the impeachment process, but he has been supportive of the way the House has handled it. He’s noted the protocol has long held that only committee members are allowed to participate in depositions. On October 18, he tweeted, “Substantial evidence has emerged showing @realDonaldTrump violated his oath of office, undermined the integrity of our elections & endangered nat'l security. I need to review any articles that come before the House but it's time to draft & file articles of impeachment.”
While the impeachment proceedings are currently contained in the House, the Senate is where an impeachment trial would occur. Given that, Colorado’s senators have also weighed in.
Republican Sen. Cory Gardner: One of 50 Republican senators to support a resolution to criticize the House Democrats handling of the impeachment inquiry. The Yuma Republican, who faces a tough 2020 re-election, has said he takes the investigation taking place seriously and “to not fall for the partisan talking points and make sure we end the political circus and actually have this done fairly and transparently.”
Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet: Supports the decision to open an impeachment inquiry. “We need to ensure that the Congress has access to the whistleblower’s complaint and that the whistleblower is protected to the full extent of the law.” But as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president, Bennet has also been realistic about the chances of removing Trump from office in a Republican-controlled Senate. He thinks it could backfire, with Trump touting an acquittal going into his re-election race.