Fed up with being locked out of the process, Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw is calling out the Democrats for their lack of “transparency” and potential violations of House rules in the way they’ve conducted their impeachment inquiry.
In a video posted on social media Wednesday, Crenshaw highlighted a clause from “Rules of the House of Representatives” that contradicts what House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has claimed as a rationale to prevent Republicans from witnessing or even reviewing transcripts of the hearings and depositions he and other Democratic leaders have been holding related to their impeachment inquiry.
“So, 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 said in a video he posted to Twitter Thursday (video below). “Is that true?”
“It just so happens that I have a ‘House Rules and Manual’ right here in front of me,” he continued. “So let’s check the House Rules.”
Crenshaw then pointed to a passage on page 568, as noted by RedState, which reads, “all committee records (including hearings, data, charts, and files) shall be kept separate and distinct from the congressional office records of the member serving as its chair. Such records shall be the property of the House, and each Member, Delegate, and the Resident Commissioner shall have access thereto.”
In other words, said Crenshaw, “we can actually go look at them.”
“So let’s go down to where they keep these records and see if they give us access — so we can inform you, the American people, what’s really going on with this impeachment inquiry,” he said.
Crenshaw then walked down to where the records are kept and attempted to get access to transcripts from the impeachment inquiry interviews. He came out frustrated, though not surprised.
“They won’t let me see it. Big surprise,” he said. “They say non-committee members can’t review any of these transcripts, any of these depositions that have been happening over this last week.”
“They say only committee members can see it, but the truth is I’ve spoken to some of these committee members,” he continued, “and they’ve been sending letters requesting to see it as well, to get an appointment to see it, as they’ve been told the proposal allowed them. And they’ve been told no also.”
“So what is the process? Where is the transparency?” he asked. “There’s none. And that should frustrate all Americans.”
“Adam Schiff isn’t allowing Reps. to see the transcripts from this impeachment inquiry, but selectively leaks small portions to the press,” Crenshaw posted in a tweet along with the video of his thwarted attempt to see the records. “This process should be transparent to the American people. It should be a fair process w/ clear rules, just like past impeachment inquiries.”
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
As reported by The Daily Wire, 21 Republican House members sent a letter Tuesday to Schiff protesting a rule imposed by the House Intelligence chairman restricting their access to the impeachment inquiry documents.
“To date, your Ukraine ‘joint investigation’ has operated almost exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. So I was shocked to be informed yesterday that you will not be providing deposition and interview transcripts from this supposed ‘joint inquiry’ to the Foreign Affairs Committee. Your staff claims that the only way we will have access to the transcripts is in your offices, during designated hours, under the personal supervision and monitoring of a majority staffer.”
This requirement, the Republicans wrote, is “outrageous and unjustifiable to deny us those basic documents, which are critical to our ability to meaningfully prepare for and participate in this investigation.” The group demanded “the same access to the same documents in the same format, as is enjoyed by you and your staff.”