Text of House Resolution on Impeachment

https://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20191028/BILLS-116-HRes660.pdf

As American Thinker’s Thomas Lifson speculated, the impeachment resolution the House will vote on this Thursday does little to change the procedures the House is already following in its hearings on impeachment.

Some highlights as I understand them:

a) Adam Schiff’s committee shall have at least one open hearing; other committees are not required to hold open hearings.

b) The ranking minority member of Adam Schiff’s committee shall have equal time as Schiff to question a witness. It’s not clear whether time will be granted if Schiff chooses not to ask any questions himself.

c) Gerry Nadler’s committee will post rules that allow the “president and his council” to attend hearings. It’s not clear whether the president can send his council alone or whether other committees will allow the president and/or council to attend their hearings.

d) the ranking minority members of Schiff’s and Nadler’s committees may request subpoenas and witnesses, but have no independent authority to issue subpoenas or invite witnesses.

I’d say item c) is the only thing new, although presumably all the committees already have the authority to permit president’s council to attend hearings.

It will be interesting to see what the talking head lawyers have to say about the resolution on TV tonight.

35 thoughts on “Text of House Resolution on Impeachment

  1. Almost funny, how the facts are making the right of right wing supporters look like clueless fools…

    However, it’s not funny when our elected President abuses his power to betray his oath of office to enrich himself and subvert our election process.

    Tic, Tic, Tic…

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Funny, and it will be interesting to see, now that the GOP can call their own witnesses, who they’ll bring to the table.

        I guess they will call Mulvaney, Giuliani, and Bolton, who, I’m sure, will be able to set the record straight and clear up this little misunderstanding….

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t think such speculation was necessary. They state that. The big change is that if the White House cooperates by turning over relevant documents then WH lawyers can participate. If not, then only the GOP Reps and their staff will be allowed to cross examine witnesses and challenge evidence.

    Makes perfect sense. Impeachment, inquiry or proceedings, is the prerogative of the Legislature.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. RE: “The big change is that if the White House cooperates by turning over relevant documents then WH lawyers can participate. If not, then only the GOP Reps and their staff will be allowed to cross examine witnesses and challenge evidence.”

      Where does the text of the resolution say that?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Section 4 paragraph A.
        “The House authorizes the Committee on the Judiciary to conduct proceedings relating to the impeachment inquiry referenced in the first section of this resolution pursuant to the procedures submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the chair of the Committee on Rules, including such procedures as to allow for the participation of the President and his counsel.”

        Liked by 3 people

        1. You asked, “Where does the text of the resolution say that?”
          I told you.

          Now if you’d care to be more specific…

          But just swinging in the dark, if they don’t cooperate, don’t expect them to be asked to be there. OTOH, if they do, they have the chance to participate as laid out in the Resolution, i.e., “including such procedures as to allow for the participation of the President and his counsel.”

          Liked by 1 person

        2. RE: “if they don’t cooperate, don’t expect them to be asked to be there.”

          The resolution doesn’t specify any conditions for participation.

          Like

  3. Open hearings. Witnesses cross examined. Counsel for the president. (I don’t think Trump needs to be there, nor will he want to.). Subpoenas for the Republicans, with approval that can be appealed.

    Seems fair. Remember the actual trial is in the Senate where all the legal due process and other protections will reign supreme. And the judge and jury are all Republicans.

    I am not particularly in favor of impeachment, preferring elections. But at this point, I am not going to fret much and look at this as a chance up to watch history being made with regards to actual Constitutional issues of powers assigned and assumed between the Executive and the Congress.

    Congress has not done its duty since Tip O’Neil left office. It has ceded power to the Executive in a drip, drip fashion. Gingrich tried a power grab of no compromise, but still Congressional powers slipped away. War, treaties, regulations, etc. all gone. I think we needed a “come to Jesus” moment and get the power back to both Congress and the people. Electing a buffoon just speeded up a necessary process.

    That is only true, of course, if we as the electorate learn from this.

    This is much more interesting and critical rather than just trying to toss a president who lied about cheating on his wife.

    IMHO.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. RE: “Seems fair.”

      Except for the fine print:

      • “Open hearings.” Only one open hearing in one of five committees is required by the resolution.
      • “Witnesses cross examined.” Only by the ranking minority member or designated staff, not by all minority members. And only if the committee chair asks questions.

      • “Counsel for the president. (I don’t think Trump needs to be there, nor will he want to.)”. Only in the Judiciary Committee, and then only after the committee writes the rules to allow it.

      • “Subpoenas for the Republicans, with approval that can be appealed.” But no independent authority to issue subpoenas or call witnesses.

      The larger legal question remains, as well. Voting for the resolution will not establish that the House as a body has approved impeachment proceedings as the Constitution requires. Thus, the resolution only affects the standard oversight functions of the House, meaning that the Executive is under no constitutional obligation to honor subpoenas or provide witnesses, and cannot be accused of committing obstruction of justice on those grounds.

      Like

      1. @Roberts
        The Constitution does not establish ANYTHING about House procedures leading to a vote on impeachment. You or somebody just made that up.

        From Wikipedia . . . “Congressional rules empower all its standing committees with the authority to compel witnesses to produce testimony and documents for subjects under its jurisdiction. … In fact, many legal rights usually associated with a judicial subpoena do not apply to a Congressional subpoena.”

        The idea that the Executive is Constitutionally immune from effective Legislative oversight is about as unAmerican as you can get. Not surprising that Trump and the GOP are pushing this egregious overreach – it is what wannabe dictators do.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. RE: “The Constitution does not establish ANYTHING about House procedures leading to a vote on impeachment.”

          That’s a red herring. The actual issue is that Congress and the Executive are co-equal branches of government. Neither can compel the other to do anything.

          Without establishing impeachment proceedings in fact (by a vote of the full House), House subpoenas have no more legal basis than standard oversight subpoenas, which the Executive may ignore, if it wishes.

          Like

          1. Ever heard of a little thing called “checks and balances?” Congress can compel the Executive in a variety of ways the most obvious of which is the power of the purse. It is quite amazing how “conservative” thought has flip flopped from abhorrence of an imperial Presidency to for it since President Obama left office.

            Your claim about what the Executive can simply ignore is not supported by law, precedent or history. But, just like your Dear Leader I am sure your response to that is “So what?”

            Liked by 1 person

          2. RE: “Congress can compel the Executive in a variety of ways the most obvious of which is the power of the purse.

            So what? I don’t doubt the power of the purse has some incentive value, but even that can’t force the president to do something he doesn’t wish to do. As far as checks and balances are concerned, don’t forget the people.

            RE: “Your claim about what the Executive can simply ignore [subpoenas] is not supported by law”

            Not so. The Obama administration ignored a Congressional subpoena in the Fast and Furious investigation. Nothing ever came of it. (The case was tried; seven years later it was dismissed.)

            Like

          3. The case you cited PROVES that you are wrong. The Executive was not simply free to ignore Congressional subpoenas. They were taken to court by the REPUBLICANS defending Congressional subpoenas. The legal dispute ended when it became moot. But the principle that the courts can decide in such disputes remains when Judge Jackson refused to vacate that part of her ruling when asked to do so by the parties.

            Bottom line – we do not live in a Monarchy and the Executive must be subject to the law and to the courts.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. ““Subpoenas for the Republicans, with approval that can be appealed.” But no independent authority to issue subpoenas or call witnesses.”

        If I recall, Devin Nunes, while head of the Intel Committee during the Russia investigation, allowed ZERO witnesses to be called by the Dems. Also, no Dems were allowed to issue subpoenas. In fact, he denied all requests by Schiff for subpoenas. And the “appeals”, if any, were all denied by the Majority.

        I am not saying that either side is right on these issues, but it is hypocritical for GOP members to complain about subpoena powers now when they denied them during other hearings they were in charge of.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. RE: “So it is OK when when party does it but not the other?”

            It doesn’t matter, unless you think it is important to make a moral judgement. I don’t see any importance in moral judgements here, since morality is not the topic at hand and of no practical utility one way or the other.

            Like

        1. @Murphy

          “the “appeals”, if any, were all denied by the Majority.”

          You recall correctly; the Majority (elections have consequences) always creates a playing field that benefits them.

          Frankly, I’m surprised at how generous and “fair” the Dems are being given the recent treatment they endured by the GOP.

          Having a “slam dunk” case against the Grifter in Chief probably helps…

          Liked by 2 people

        2. RE: “Having a ‘slam dunk’ case against the Grifter in Chief probably helps”

          If the Democrats had a slam dunk case, there would be no need for use a kangaroo court to make it.

          I assert there is no case for impeachment, and invite you to prove me wrong by laying it out.

          Like

          1. Gather evidence of a crime is now a “Kangaroo Court?” That is beyond ridiculous. Trump supporters seem totally flummoxed by the laser sharp focus the Democrats have brought to bear after the Whistle Blower complaint.

            You say there is no case for impeachment? That is a terrific example of the Goofy Counterfactual Obtuseness with which you always display when facing inconvenient truths. These facts are now beyond dispute . . .

            1. Trump used Rudy Giuliani and various State Department officials to demand that the President of Ukraine publicly announce an investigation of the Bidens as a condition (quid pro quo) for a meeting with the President and the release of the authorized military aid desperately needed to resist RUSSIAN aggression.
            2. The now known to be watered down “transcript” of the infamous phone call has Trump personally pressing this demand.

            3. The President’s Chief of Staff admitted these fact to the press.

            4. Demanding something of value as a condition of governmental action is BRIBERY which, notably, is the only other named crime besides TREASON in the Constitutional language about impeachment.

            There has never been a more clear and disgusting abuse of power than this President withholding the means of self defense from an ally to extort a personal political favor.

            Liked by 3 people

          2. RE: ” These facts are now beyond dispute…”

            I dispute, and have disputed, every one of your so-called facts.

            Like

          3. Disputed by saying they aren’t true. Relying on conspiracy based sites and those avoiding the reality of what this President has done and said does not change them to be false. In fact, they solidify them as true. IMHO

            Like

  4. When the facts are on your side, pound on the facts.
    When the law is on your side, pound on the law.
    When neither is on your side, pound on the table… or rush the meeting room and order pizza

    Liked by 2 people

  5. “The ranking minority member of Adam Schiff’s committee shall have equal time as Schiff to question a witness. It’s not clear whether time will be granted if Schiff chooses not to ask any questions himself.”

    Then there is this:
    “(2) Notwithstanding clause 2(j)(2) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, upon recognition by the chair for such purpose under this paragraph during any hearing designated pursuant to paragraph (1), the chair and ranking minority member of the Permanent Select Committee shall be permitted to question witnesses for equal specified periods of longer than five minutes, as determined by the chair. The time available for each period of
    questioning under this paragraph shall be equal for the chair and the ranking minority member. The chair may confer recognition for multiple periods of such questioning, but each period of questioning shall not exceed 90 minutes in the aggregate. Only the chair and ranking minority member, or a Permanent Select Committee employee if yielded to by the chair or ranking minority member, may question witnesses during such periods of questioning. At the conclusion of questioning pursuant to this paragraph, the committee shall proceed with questioning under the five-minute rule pursuant to clause 2(j)(2)(A) of rule XI. ”

    Clearly, if Schiff allows staff counsel to question the witnesses, the minority gets the same 90 minutes, either by the ranking member or HIS staff counsel. Also, equal time for questioning by all members of the Committee will be allowed under the normal rules of the House.

    So your statement is factually inaccurate. It is crystal clear if you read the words in the paragraph.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good catch, but you are still misreading a couple of things:

      • “each period of questioning shall not exceed 90 minutes in the aggregate.” This means the majority and minority each get up to 45 minutes.
      • “Only the chair and ranking minority member, or a Permanent Select Committee employee if yielded to by the chair or ranking minority member, may question witnesses during such periods of questioning.” This means the extended questioning the resolution allows is restricted to only two members of the committee plus designated employees of the committee.

      • “At the conclusion of questioning pursuant to this paragraph, the committee shall proceed with questioning under the five-minute rule pursuant to clause 2(j)(2)(A) of rule XI.” Rule XI may allow questioning by all members of the committee, but I haven’t seen the text of the rule, so I don’t know if it does or doesn’t.

      In any case, I take your point that the ranking member will be allowed to ask questions of a witness whether the chair does or doesn’t. I note that the ability to ask questions in excess of five minutes remains “as determined by the chair.”

      Like

      1. I stand corrected on the total amount of time for questioning by the chair and ranking member.

        “This means the extended questioning the resolution allows is restricted to only two members of the committee plus designated employees of the committee.” This is a standard applied in most congressional hearings. So what is your point?

        “I note that the ability to ask questions in excess of five minutes remains “as determined by the chair.”” Also, the same standard in Congressional hearings. That’s why he is called the Chair and not the door mat.

        Elections have consequences, as is noted several times by people on both sides of the argument. And short of attempting to divulge classified info or a whistle blower’s identity in the questioning, I do not see any reason for any member to be denied his 5 minutes and I do not expect Chairman Schiff to go outside of those rules. And if he tries to do so, he will undermine his own authority. And the paragraph sited in the House rules DOES allow for the 5-minutes, otherwise it would have been a mistake to include the statement in the resolution. And while you tend to believe that Democrats aren’t very smart, their legal teas are.

        Like

      2. RE: “This is a standard applied in most congressional hearings…Also, the same standard in Congressional hearings.”

        You should research things you believe to be true before asserting them as known facts. Since you didn’t, I did: It turns out you are wrong in the first instance, and right in the second.

        Under the Rules of the House of Representatives, each committee is required to publish its own rules of procedure. Here is the top-level document for the House as a whole:

        https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/HMAN-116/pdf/HMAN-116.pdf

        Here is the Rules of Procedure for Adam Schiff’s committee:

        https://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG00/CPRT-116-HPRT-IG00-CommitteeRules.pdf

        Under Schiff’s normal rules of procedure and Rule XI of the House, any committee member may question a witness for up to five minutes (the “five minute rule” that applies in all Congressional settings). Pelosi’s resolution makes a unique exception to this standard by allowing the Chair and the ranking member to engage in extended questioning (up to 90 minutes total).

        I contend that the way the resolution is written, the chair is authorized to conduct extended questioning of his own, but deny extended questioning to the ranking member. Whether Schiff would actually pull a stunt like that, I wouldn’t claim to know.

        To sum up:

        • Your contention that extended questioning by the chair and ranking member is standard procedure is false.
        • You contention that questioning is normally open to all committee members under the five-minute rule is true.

        Apart from that, I recommend you avoid pretending to be able to read other people’s minds. I do not in fact believe, as you claim, that “Democrats aren’t very smart.” I’m more apt to believe they are demonic, but that’s entirely different.

        Like

        1. “I contend that the way the resolution is written, the chair is authorized to conduct extended questioning of his own, but deny extended questioning to the ranking member.”

          Then apparently your reading comprehension is lacking. From the resolution: “The time available for each period of questioning under this paragraph shall be equal for the chair and the ranking minority member.”

          Keep digging your hole. Let me know when you hit water and I’ll assist you in putting a pump in.

          As far as I mind reading, it is a tool that I do not need to use, even if I had it. Your words say everything I need to know. And as you said previously to me, your words are more powerful than you as a person. And your words show how weak minded you are when it comes to Trump.

          Like

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