Schiff Sends Out Memo Outlining Public Impeachment Hearing Process | Talking Points Memo

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) sent a note to members of his committee on Tuesday establishing the procedures in this week’s public hearings in the House impeachment probe.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://talkingpointsmemo.com/?p=1261498

In other words, expect to hear the suspected whistleblower’s name mentioned by at least one republican tomorrow.

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Lot of posturing going on tomorrow.

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Questioning by Adam Schiff (Stanford, Harvard Law, Federal Prosecutor) followed by questioning by Devin Nunes (California Polytechnic State Univ. BS and MS in agricultural, cow harasser)? Now that will be entertaining.

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Even with 2 degrees he and the cow appear to be on even terms.

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Schiff: “We will be using rules set by the GOP when they ran the House.”

GOP: “Unjust! Sham! Tyranny!”

Media: “Questions remain about the fairness of the process.”

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You get the feeling that Schiff has been waiting to write that for a while, because it swats down a lot of Republican BS about the hearing process to this point. It’s especially good how he points out that the process used so far is essentially the same as the Republican processes used in the Clinton impeachment and other Republican led proceedings. He’s also laying the groundwork for strong initial questioning, and only a lot of grandstanding from Nunes, who is a tool unable to handle that…this makes it likely that the Republican counsel will handle most of the extended questioning period. He’s also laid down the law on bringing in non-substantive things into the process…that’s actually really important, because it should limit Republicans making the entire thing a sideshow for their conspiracy theories.

Put it all together, and it looks like a good basis for the hearings…now we’ll see how the Republicans try to muck it up. They will likely ignore this, and attack Schiff personally, so hopefully people will clearly see how the two sides comport themselves and easily determine which one is serious about the investigation and which one is full of crap.

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This won’t stop the Republican gaslighting or attempts at obstruction but it sets the basis for rejecting those attempts as well as disciplining Repugs when they attempt them.

Semi-OT, Bill Moyers rebukes PBS in an NYT full-page ad (full text here) for refusing to televise the hearings in real- and prime-time on TV (streaming web only).

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Wondering @publishermike :

Since some of us are still gainfully employed, what are the chances of a live blog for those of us that won’t have media access during the hearings? Hope, hope, please, please?

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Yes, but what mechanism does anyone have to stop off-topic dialogue before it completely takes things off the rails? Is there a mechanism and, if there is, will someone be able to use it effectively?

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Decorum. The Code of Official Conduct for Members of Congress requires that every Member “shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”2 As Chair, I will do my utmost during the hearings to safeguard the rights of the witnesses and all Members of the Committee, just as Committee Members should strive to conduct themselves with “dignity, propriety, courtesy, and decorum.”3

Republicans arriving at the hearing tomorrow …

image

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Glad to see only Schiff, Nunes, and counsel for each can participate in 45-minute question periods.

I anticipate that a lot of the other GOP members will yield their time to this thug Jordan. Clear he’s been temporarily assigned to committee to him things up.

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Gym Jordan is gonna try the piledriver, and it won’t go well.

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I was wondering how far Schiff would go, too. Usually shame shuts people up, but we know the gop are shameless.

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Gym Jordan (R-Locker Room) will get only 5 minutes of penetrating question time?

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I’m just waiting for Mattress Gaetz to come up with a new ape-like antic…

Swinging from the chandelier, perhaps?

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He can shower lots of questions in that time…

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The chair controls the hearing, and if one of the members decides to go way off topic then the chair can stop them. The Republicans can protest, but the committee will vote to keep the questioning in line with the topic. Expect a lot of Republicans trying to push the envelope on this, and at least one of them (probably Jordan) will cross way over the line and force the issue, and then claim that the hearings are a sham because they can’t ask whatever questions they like.

ETA I bet the part in there about House decorum rules is meant to allow Schiff to keep the members in line as well…there are sanctions and things he can do if they get to far off the reservation, though I think he’s going to let them take their rope and walk the plank.

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So far as I understand the impeachment resolution and house rules, only the chair and ranking member can yield their time to anyone else, and only to committee staff members. Gym Jordan gets five minutes to flail about at the end of the hearing, and then he’s done.

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That’s my expectation - I really don’t want to see this process devolve into useless, time consuming shouting matches. I would like to see the sergeant at arms remove a repeating violator at the direction of the chairman. I don’t know if that’s possible, but it’s time to put the bright light on these GOPpers that want to discredit the process and show them for who they are.

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