In a purely partisan vote, Democrats on Thursday rubber-stamped an ad hoc anti-Trump investigation led by Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), in a move that prohibits Republicans from calling witnesses or subpoenaing evidence without prior Democrat approval. No Republicans voted for the measure, which allows Democrats to continue proceeding in secret behind closed doors, while two Democrats voted against it.
The final vote total came down to 231 Democrats and one independent voting in favor and 194 Republicans with two Democrats voting opposed.
Pelosi announced the start of an impeachment inquiry in the House following reports of an anonymous whistleblower complaint filed against the president. The complaint, marked “credible” and “urgent” by the intelligence community inspector general but not by the Department of National Intelligence, accused Trump of conspiring with the Ukrainian president to investigate political opponents at home. Those claims have been both corroborated and contradicted by witnesses testifying behind closed doors in the in the proceedings underway in the House SCIF.
The identity of the anti-Trump whistleblower who kicked off the latest round of Democratic impeachment fever has since been revealed as a former intelligence official who worked in the Trump administration as a holdover from the Obama White House. Real Clear Investigations, the first outlet to publish the identity of the whistleblower reported that the 33-year-old registered Democrat worked with a DNC opposition researcher to peddle the grand Russia collusion hoax and worked for former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan.
The current ongoing inquiry in the House had never been voted on by the full chamber and was being run entirely in secrecy by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. Since the beginning, Republicans have said process is wrought with bias. Democrats have interviewed witnesses and selectively leaked their testimonies to frame the president in anticipation of public hearings as Congress moves toward the next steps of impeachment.
On Wednesday, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., slammed the proceedings calling out Schiff for directing witnesses not to answer questions from Republican lawmakers.
“He’s directing witnesses not to answer questions that he doesn’t want the witness to answer if they’re asked by Republicans,” Scalise claimed speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill. “He’s not cut off one Democrat. He’s not interrupted one Democrat and told a witness not to answer Democrat members’ questions but today he started telling witnesses not to answer questions by certain Republicans.”
House Minority Whip @SteveScalise rips into Democratic "soviet style" impeachment process:
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 29, 2019