Republican Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise took to the House floor Thursday to criticize the “sham process” that he said the Democrats’ impeachment resolution would cement.
Scalise argued that House Democrats had been engaging in Soviet-style tactics and that the proposed resolution, which only gives Republicans and President Donald Trump the chance to call witnesses or present a defense if the Democratic committee chair approved, was no better. (RELATED: Steve Scalise Hit By Pitch At Congressional Baseball Practice — But He’s All Smiles)
“No rights for the minority unless the chair so designates,” Scalise began. “In fact, in this resolution it allows the chair to veto even the ability for the president to have legal counsel in the room. If the chair chooses at his whim they can kick out the president’s legal counsel.”
Scalise called the move “unprecedented,” and then took it a step further: “This is Soviet-style rules. Maybe in the Soviet Union you do things like that where only you make the rules, where you reject the ability for the person you are accusing to even be in the room. To question what’s going on. For anybody else to call witnesses. When only one person has the right to call witnesses,” he added. “And as we saw just the other day, the chairman was literally directing the witness to not answer certain questions by the Republicans. What kind of fairness is that?”
“Maybe you think it’s fairness if you can run roughshod over somebody because you have the votes but that’s not how impeachment was supposed to go,” Scalise continued, invoking Alexander Hamilton’s words of warning from The Federalist Papers. “‘The greatest danger is that the decision on impeachment will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.’ Alexander Hamilton warned about days like today.”
Scalise concluded by listing several legislative measures that were being passed over in favor of the Democrats’ “infatuation with impeachment,” including lowering prescription drug prices and formalizing pay for the military.
“Madam Speaker when you look through this resolution and see how one-sided, how Soviet-style this is running, this is the United States of America. Don’t run a sham process and tainted process like this resolution insures,” he said.