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FLASHBACK: Republicans Called an Impeachment Inquiry without a Vote “Illegitimate,” “a Politically Motivated Charade,” and “Totally Unjust”

Sep 12, 2023

Today, Speaker McCarthy announced he was directing Jim Jordan, James Comer, and Jason Smith to open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden without holding a vote, just eleven days after he promised that any impeachment inquiry would come with a floor vote. 

Four years ago, then-Minority Leader McCarthy demanded a vote for opening an inquiry into then-President Trump. Three times, he pushed the House to vote on an impeachment inquiry. He even called an impeachment inquiry without a vote “devoid of any merit or legitimacy.”

And, his rank and file agreed with him that an impeachment inquiry without a vote was “illegitimate”, “a politically motivated charade”, and “totally unjust’.

Without the votes for an impeachment inquiry and facing demands from Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, and Donald Trump – and worried about the gavel in his hand – McCarthy is breaking his word, jeopardizing his majority, and following the bidding of the most extreme MAGA voices to protect Donald Trump. 

Comer Denounced House Democrats For Refusing To Hold A House Vote On An Impeachment Inquiry. “Democrats still refuse to hold a full house vote on their impeachment inquiry…I urge the American people to take a hard look at the lack of transparency and accountability surrounding this unfounded impeachment inquiry.” [C-SPAN, 10/23/19, VIDEO]

Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL): Holding An Impeachment Inquiry Without A Vote Is “Illegitimate With No Due Process.” “We haven’t held a vote to open an impeachment vote but they are charging a secretive court. This is illegitimate with no due process and no charges have been made.” [C-SPAN,10/22/19, VIDEO]

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ): “It Is Totally Unjust” To Conduct An Impeachment Inquiry With “No Vote On The Floor.” This is totally unjust, it’s totally unfair. There was no vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, as has been done in the past, to authorize this impeachment inquiry with a standard set of rules and due process procedures that any American citizen should get – let alone the President of the United States. So I say to you: this is unfair, and it’s a total political hit job on the President of the United States and this is unjust, I hope the American people see it for what it is.” [House Republican Press Conference, 10/23/19, VIDEO]

Rep. Glen Thompson (R-PA): “If This Was Serious, [The House] Would Bring A Vote To The Floor To Open A Formal Impeachment Inquiry.”If this was serious, House Democrats would bring a vote to the floor to open a formal impeachment inquiry, but they won’t do that. This is a political stunt beneath the dignity of this institution…. Hold a vote or move on. The American people deserve better.” [C-SPAN,10/22/19, VIDEO]

Rep. Mark Green (R-TN): Holding An Impeachment Inquiry Without Holding A Vote Is “An Insult To Democracy.” We’re in the midst of a so-called impeachment inquiry, despite no vote ever having been held on the House floor, as was the case for Nixon and Clinton. […] This is an insult to democracy. This House, supposedly the people’s House, cannot pass a single law without a vote. We are a legislative body and we speak after a vote is taken. Failing to do so allows unchecked factions to control the direction of the entire legislative branch. the founders never intended it as such. In fact, this is the very definition of tyranny. The people of Tennessee deserve to be heard. The people of America deserve to be heard on this issue. We need to stop this charade now and hold a vote. Thank you. and I yield.” [C-SPAN,10/22/19, VIDEO]

Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI): Not Holding A Vote On An Impeachment Inquiry Shows That It Is “A Politically Motivated Charade.”Breaking with historical precedent, House Democratic leadership will not hold a vote on this extremely consequential matter. house democrats have created a toxic work environment resulting in nothing getting done, no good policy or law created, no regular order. This is a politically motivated charade attempting to undermine and diminish the effectiveness of the duly elected president and his administration based on bias, prejudice, and disgraceful politics.” [C-SPAN,10/22/19, VIDEO]

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN): Holding An Impeachment Inquiry Without A Vote Would Be “Unlike Any Other In U.S. History.” “It must be noted that the impeachment process House Democrats have put in place is unlike any other in U.S. history. In stark contrast, we haven’t had a vote this time.” [ABC News, 10/10/19]

Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA): “It Is Absolutely Necessary For The Speaker To Hold A Vote In The Full House To Formally Authorize An Impeachment Inquiry.” “It is absolutely necessary for the Speaker to hold a vote in the full house to formally authorize an impeachment inquiry. Regardless of which party held the majority in the past, there has been an authorization vote because it allows the House to adopt procedures that would provide for the minority to be an equal part of this process.” [C-SPAN,10/22/19, VIDEO]

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA): “There Have Only Been Three Instances Of Impeachment Proceedings Against A President And In All Three Cases, The Impeachment Inquiry Was First Properly Authorized By A Full Vote Of This House.”There have only been three instances of impeachment proceedings against a president and in all three cases, the impeachment inquiry was first properly authorized by a full vote of this House.” [C-SPAN,10/22/19, VIDEO]

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK): “The House Can Ill Afford” An “Unprecedented And Unauthorized Impeachment Inquiry” Without “Taking A Vote to Authorize It.” Moreover, the House is proceeding in this inquiry without ever taking a vote to authorize it or establish the parameters and ensure due process.” [C-SPAN,10/23/19, VIDEO]

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA): Every Other Impeachment Inquiry In Our Nation’s History “Started With A Vote of the Full House and It Started With A Fair Set of Rules.” “When you look through our nation’s history, fortunately, there are not that many instances where congress had to try to impeach or inquire about impeaching a president. three times. in all three cases it started with a vote of the full house and it started with a fair set of rules.” [C-SPAN,10/23/19, VIDEO]