Two Democrats broke with an otherwise party line vote today on the impeachment resolution in the House. Democrat congressmen Collin Peterson (MN) and Jeff Van Drew (NJ) voted nay. Trump critic Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), who left the Republican party earlier this year, voted with Democrats. Republicans were united in their rejection of the hearings.
The results mean that there is partisan support for the hearings, and bipartisan disapproval. The path forward has been established, as Fox News reports,
The Democrats’ resolution specifies that Republicans in the minority on the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees will have the authority, with the concurrence of committee chairs in the majority, to subpoena witnesses and compel their testimony.
If the chair does not consent, the minority can appeal to the full committee. It is common in other proceedings for committee chairs to essentially have veto authority over subpoenas sought by ranking minority members.
The measure also sets the stage for proceedings to move into a public setting soon.
The resolution authorizes the Intelligence Committee to conduct an "open hearing or hearings" in which minority Republicans have equal time to question witnesses.
And, after that hearing is concluded, "to allow for a full evaluation of minority witness requests, the ranking minority member may submit to the chair, in writing, any requests for witness testimony relevant to the investigation described in the first section of this resolution within 72 hours after notice is given."
The whistleblower's name is Eric Ciaramella, as reported by RealClear Investigation's Paul Sperry. He's everything we thought he'd be.
Ciaramella has not denied that he is the whistleblower, but he has retained legal counsel and is allegedly threatening reporters who use his name. Unfortunately for Ciaramella, the press is not obligated to keep his name private, only officials employed by the federal government.
We knew that he was a CIA employee, we knew that he was partisan. Now we know his name. His testimony, if it is ever given publicly, ought to be compelling.
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