House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy criticized the vote in the House of Representatives on October 31 to formalize the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump during Sunday’s edition of “Face the Nation.”
McCarthy singled out House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, telling CBS’s Margaret Brennan that the rules of the impeachment inquiry made Schiff “judge, jury and prosecutor” of the process.
“They now made the Intel committee the impeachment committee. They now control even further about which Republicans can even ask questions. They made Adam Schiff not only a fact witness, but he’s the judge, the jury and the prosecutor. That is unheard of.” McCarthy said.
“Never in our history have we ever moved through such a partisan impeachment movement. This is unheard of, and what they’re trying to do, remember, what is today, November 3rd. We are exactly one year away from Americans going to the polls to vote for the president. They’re trying the change the outcome of 2016 and influence the next one,” McCarthy added. (RELATED: ‘Soviet-Style Process’: Scalise, Jordan Rip Schiff Over Alleged Obstruction Of Witnesses)
Brennan pushed back, asking, “Well, Republicans will be able to ask questions of witnesses and call their own. Who is it in the public hearings that Republicans want the hear from?”
McCarthy responded, “Well, Margaret, that’s not true. If you read what the resolution says, now Adam Schiff controls the time, and now they have written it —”
Brennan interrupted, “Democrats are in the majority. That’s the way being in the majority works. Isn’t that what you would do?”
“No, that is not what I would do. That is not what we did when we moved for impeachment with Clinton. That’s not what Democrats did when they proved with impeachment for Nixon. They actually had witnesses,” McCarthy countered. “But what Adam Schiff now has the power to do is to tell Devin Nunes, the ranking member, that he cannot have any other member on that committee have time to ask questions. In every committee today, it doesn’t mattered what tissue is, you can use your — yield your time to another individual, but not now.”
The measure to officially open an impeachment inquiry against Trump passed the House of Representatives 232-196 in a floor vote on October 31.
Schiff has come under criticism from numerous Republicans about his handling of the impeachment inquiry. Republican lawmakers have claimed that they were not allowed to call witnesses and that Schiff has blocked witnesses from answering Republicans’ questions. Republicans have also decried the fact that many of the hearings on impeachment have taken place behind closed doors, with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise calling the impeachment inquiry a “one-sided, Soviet-style process.”
Schiff has also come under particular scrutiny for his office’s contact with the whistleblower whose complaint began the impeachment inquiry. Before filing the complaint, the whistleblower contacted one of Schiff’s aides, who directed the whistleblower to the intelligence community inspector general.