House rule would allow the minority to call witnesses that Schiff is trying to block
In December 2018, the soon-to-be Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, was busy making changes in the House rules for the incoming 116th Congress. She was actually setting the stage for her anticipated impeachment of President Trump. At the time, The Conservative Treehouse’s “Sundance” wrote, “Remember when we warned [November 8th, 2018] that a convergence of left-wing groups, activists, DNC donors and specifically the Lawfare team, would align with (and meet) incoming Democrat leadership to construct a road-map for the “resistance” priorities? Well, exactly that planned and coordinated outcome is visible as incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presents her new rules for the 116th congress.”The Democrats will have to jump through some more hoops to deny the Republicans a chance to call their witnesses. If they refuse they will be exposed as breaking House rules.
It appears there was one House rule Pelosi forgot to change and it may come back to bite them. That would be the “Minority Witness Rule (Clause 2(j)(1) of Rule XI).”
In a letter to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), signed by the Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) informs the chairman they are exercising their right to “convene a hearing with witnesses selected by the Minority to testify in the Democrats’ “impeachment inquiry.”” McCarthy writes:
House Rule XI, Clause 1(a)(1)(A) states that “the Rules of the House are the rules of its committees and subcommittees so far as applicable.” House Rule XI, Clause 2(j)(1) provides that “the minority members of the committee shall be entitled, upon request to the chair by a majority of them before the completion of the hearing, to call witnesses selected by the minority to testify…” Notably, this rule was not displaced by H. Res. 660 and, therefore, under House Rule XI, Clause 1(a)(1)(A), it applies to the Democrats’ “impeachment inquiry.”
As the Committee continues to conduct the Democrats’ partisan and one-sided “impeachment inquiry,” there are still important perspectives and serious issues that you have prevented the Committee from examining. We will inform you of the witnesses we intend to call once you have provided a hearing date and time to which we agree. “Your failure to schedule this hearing shall constitute evidence of your denial of fundamental fairness and due process.
Prior to the start of the public phase of the Schiff show, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) submitted a list of witnesses Republicans hoped to call before the committee which included the whistleblower, believed to be Eric Ciaramella, Hunter Biden, former Vice President Joe Biden, former DNC operative and rabid anti-Trumper, Alexandra Chalupa and Fusion GPS researcher Nellie Ohr.
Nunes also requested that Schiff himself testify. Nunes wrote:
As the American public is now aware, in August 2019, you and/or your staff met with or talked to the whistleblower.Clearly, Schiff and Pelosi will try to ignore this and, if pushed, will fight tooth and nail to prevent it.
Although you publicly claim nothing inappropriate was discussed, the three committees deserve to hear directly from you, the substance and circumstances surrounding any discussions conducted with the whistleblower, and any instructions you issued regarding those discussions. Given that you have reneged on your public commitment to let the committees interview the whistleblower directly, you are the only individual who can provide clarity as to these conversations.