Republicans who are closely aligned with President Donald Trump have taken many drastic steps — including improperly (and possibly illegally) storming the impeachment inquiry hearings on Wednesday — in order to seemingly attempt to disrupt the process.
Not much can be done legally to stop the inquiry or the impeachment of the president. It takes a simple majority vote within the House of Representatives to successfully impeach an officer of the U.S. government, after which a trial is held in the Senate, where two-thirds of the body must vote to indict in order to remove said official.
Nevertheless, it seems that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and staunch Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham are set to introduce a symbolic measure on Thursday. The two plan to put forward a resolution “condemning the House of Representatives’ closed door, illegitimate impeachment inquiry,” according to a report from the Washington Examiner.
McConnell and Graham have both been strong defenders of Trump within the halls of Congress, and McConnell has publicly stated that the process has been “grossly unfair” to the president.
However, many pundits have observed that the process ran by Democrats so far has been in line with the rules set forward by the House of Representatives, which were established in 2015 by Republican lawmakers. Charges about the inquiry being “secretive” are somewhat unfounded, too, as it’s been noted that other impeachment inquiries in the past have also been secretive at this stage of the process.
— Tom McCarthy (@TeeMcSee) October 24, 2019
“Eventually there will be a public presentation of this, at which point lawyers for the president can cross-examine these people and challenge them,” Fox News’ Andrew Napolitano pointed out, according to a previous report from HillReporter.com.
Republicans are also involved in the hearings as they’re happening right now. The charges of secrecy are being made because some lawmakers believe they should be involved in the process — however, there are some aspects of the hearings that require secrecy for national security purposes, and so at this point, the hearings have been limited to including only lawmakers who sit on the committees running things.
As such, dozens of Republican lawmakers have access to hear and question witnesses, the Washington Post has pointed out, in spite of accusations that the process has shut them out.