(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congress is on a two-week recess, but the House Intelligence Committee may hold its next impeachment hearing on Friday.
Indiana Congressman Andre Carson says the committee may call Attorney General William Barr and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to testify, but the top of the witness list is the unnamed whistleblower who set the hearings in motion with his report on a phone call in which Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Carson says the panel also needs to make sure the whistleblower gets the protection guaranteed under federal law. The law says people can’t face retaliation or be identified for reporting suspected lawbreaking, but Trump has been calling for the exposure of the whistleblower and the officials who talked to him, calling them “close to a spy” and warning of “what we used to do in the old days.”
All seven Indiana House Republicans, as well as Republican Senator Mike Braun, have now criticized the impeachment hearings as partisan and unwarranted. Congresswoman Susan Brooks says she doesn’t see anything criminal or impeachable in the summary of Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy. And Jim Baird says he spent the first half of his first year in Congress trying to get past the Mueller report. He says he doesn’t see anything in the phone call to warrant another round of investigations, and says Democrats’ focus on impeachment is preventing action on things he says are more important, especially the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada.
Carson says the investigation is critical to uphold the Constitution and establish that no one, including the president, is above the law. He says the House should take a stand for what’s right, even if there’s little chance the Republican Senate will remove Trump from office. But Carson says he’s “hopeful” public opinion will shift, and soften Republican senators’ opposition with it.
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