Republicans demanded transcripts from impeachment probe be released, and now they're dismissing them
The House Intelligence Committee on Monday began releasing transcripts from the closed-door depositions in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, an important step as the probe nears its public phase.
But Republicans, who have been demanding that Democrats hold the inquiry in public, were not satisfied with the transcript releases, even after calling on the transcripts to be released last week, once again moving the goalposts of their process complaints with the impeachment probe.
"Democrats cherry pick which transcripts they release and when," Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), one of Trump's top defenders on Capitol Hill, tweeted. "Why not release Ambassador Volker's testimony? He was the very first witness to testify!"
Volker's testimony will be released on Tuesday, with more transcripts to come after that. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, set a five-day timeline for the rest of the transcripts to be released.
Jordan wasn't the only Republican to criticize the first release of transcripts, which are from interviews with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Mike McKinley, a former adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Both transcripts showed how Rudy Giuliani's shadow state department was recklessly undermining actual American diplomat's work.
Criticizing the fact that the transcripts weren't all released in one fell swoop seems to be the GOP talking point.
"Dems are selectively releasing transcripts from their closed-door hearings," House Minority Whip Steve Scalise tweeted. "The big 'bombshell' they're trying to sell? @realDonaldTrump let holdovers from the Obama Administration go. THIS is what they expect Americans to believe is impeachable? It’s laughable."
"Dems are selectively releasing transcripts from their closed-door hearings. The big "bombshell" they're trying to sell? @realDonaldTrump let holdovers from the Obama Administration go. THIS is what they expect Americans to believe is impeachable? It’s laughable.
"Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi are cherry picking transcripts from their secret impeachment interviews to release," Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) tweeted. "Every single transcript should be released and made available to the American people. What are they afraid of?"
Of course, with all of the process complaints Republicans have made against the inquiry, the attacks on the transcript release will also whither away once all of the transcripts have been released.
Just like holding a vote on the ground rules of the impeachment inquiry didn't satisfy Republicans who demanded a vote on ground rules for an impeachment inquiry, releasing the transcripts didn't satisfy Republican demands for releasing the transcripts.
And after this latest line of attack is no longer plausible, Republicans will likely find a new way to attack the inquiry in order to protect Trump.
"When the transcripts are released, the GOP due process arguments will look very stupid," Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted.
Published with permission of The American Independent. Attribution: Emily Singer.