Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Connect

Congressman Paul Mitchell

Representing the 10th District of Michigan

Michigan Representatives Urge Speaker Pelosi to Make Impeachment Inquiry More Transparent

October 30, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Paul Mitchell (MI-10), Jack Bergman (MI-01), Tim Walberg (MI-07), Bill Huizenga (MI-02), John Moolenaar (MI-04), and Fred Upton (MI-06) today sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging her to bring more transparency to the closed-door impeachment proceedings. The letter comes in advance of a scheduled House vote on H.Res. 660, which continues the secretive process and falls short of basic standards of fairness.
 
“For more than a month, the House’s impeachment inquiry has been conducted entirely behind closed doors. While the resolution, H.Res. 660, attempts to bring a veneer of transparency to the proceedings, it falls far short and instead continues to undermine the bedrock principle of due process,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. “As members of the Michigan delegation who do not sit on your self-determined impeachment inquiry committees—Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Oversight, or Foreign Affairs—we have been prevented vital access and material shared in the process. As a result, our constituents have been left in the dark.”
 
The full text of the letter is below and a PDF can be downloaded here.
 
Speaker Pelosi:
 
For more than a month, the House’s impeachment inquiry has been conducted entirely behind closed doors. While the resolution, H.Res. 660, attempts to bring a veneer of transparency to the proceedings, it falls far short and instead continues to undermine the bedrock principle of due process.

As members of the Michigan delegation who do not sit on your self-determined impeachment inquiry committees—Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Oversight, or Foreign Affairs—we have been prevented vital access and material shared in the process. As a result, our constituents have been left in the dark.

Members who do serve on these committees have been instructed not to share their knowledge of material from these proceedings, so the only information available to us and the millions of Michiganders we represent have been selective and misleading leaks to the news media which may not paint a full, trustworthy picture. Going forward, we fear that H.Res. 660 does not guarantee the timely release of transcripts from closed-door depositions and that the pattern of secrecy and selective leaking will continue. The resolution also fails to afford the minority with important due process rights.

While the politics of impeachment are nothing new over the past 45 years, the House in the past demonstrated the use of consistent, bipartisan procedures to ensure due process is given during presidential inquiries. While we certainly do not presume to know all that the impeachment inquiry may find, we are certain a more transparent process that is beyond reproach can only lead to a more credible outcome. The proper course of action would be to follow the historical precedent set under the impeachment hearings of Presidents Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon.
 
At some point in the foreseeable future, members of Congress may be asked to vote on impeachment. To make such a determination with incomplete information, and without the ability to take part in the proceedings, would be an affront to our constitutional responsibility.

The American people will not have confidence in the inquiry—and our institution as a whole—if their duly elected representatives are unable to fully participate and the basic standards of fairness are not met. Let the American people draw their own conclusions as to the facts and put an end to the unprecedented secrecy.

 

###