Rep. Mike Johnson: Historically Unprecedented Hearing Has Been Outrageous Violation Of Due Process

REP. MIKE JOHNSON“Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This has been a truly extraordinary and historically unprecedented hearing. It has, frankly, been an outrageous violation of due process. A series of violations of due process, in fact. Let me review the past 7 1/2 hours. In the beginning of our proceeding today, I asked Chairman Nadler if Mr. Berke was appearing here as a staff member or as a witness, but the Chairman gave strangely conflicting answers to that important question. When I objected under House Rule 17 that Mr. Berke was repeatedly and brazenly steam rolling over House decorum rules and using language that impugned the motives of the President of the United States and suggested he is disloyal to his country, Chairman Nadler insisted that those words could not be taken down and stricken from the record saying, quote, “The rules don’t apply here because Mr. Berke is merely appearing as a staffer.” but later, Chairman Nadler stated the opposite and declared that Mr. Berke was appearing to present the Democratic members report as their representative which would of course mean that the member rule should apply. Then Mr. Burke was allowed to switch places and turn from witness to questioner. That’s extraordinarily bizarre, of course, but it’s entirely consistent with this whole impeachment circus. As everybody knows, Intel Chairman Adam Schiff was allowed in the opening act of this circus to serve as the judge, jury, prosecutor, witness coach and case strategy chief all in one. So much for due process. Under the Democrats haphazardly drawn special parameters for these special hearings, House Resolution 660, Mr. Berke was then allowed to join the elected members of Congress on this dais and in fact ask 45 minutes of questions his fellow witness Mr. Castor. When he was argumentative, assumed critical facts not in evidence, engaged in speculation, and committed countless other violations of regular House rules and the federal rules of civil procedure, I objected. It was then ruled out of order by Chairman Nadler who informed all of us that while House Resolution 660 specifically provides for objections, it lists none of them and the Democrats have ignored every request of ours to obtain a list of what rules and objections would be enforced and applicable today. Again, so much for Due Process and fairness.

A month ago, listen, a month ago the Republican members of this committee formally requested all documents related to the impeachment investigation, but Chairman Nadler and Schiff withheld everything until you know when? Saturday afternoon. That’s right, less than 48 hours before this hearing they dumped approximately 8,000 pages of documentation on us while we were back home in our directs. They intentionally made it literally impossible for us to review all material in any meaningful way mere hours before this fateful hearing. What’s worse is the documents they decided to dump on us are not all of the underlying records we need to review, but rather only a partial, redacted, and biased subset of information that they think will advance their false narrative. And as has been mentioned here, we’re being allowed no minority day hearing had which is required by regular House Rules. I’d love to cross-examine Mr. Burke himself, but Chairman Nadler’s special and still mysterious rules for this hearing won’t allow it. I notice he’s disappeared from the hearing room, but I would love to ask him under oath about his own biases because you know he hammered here over and over today the importance of fairness and objectivity and accuracy and he insisted that everything here has to be unbiased. But if he was under oath here, he would be forced to admit that FEC records show that he has personally donated approximately $99,000 to Democrat candidates over the years, including sizeable donations for Hillary Clinton for President, and also donated to past Trump opponents, including Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand. Mr. Burke appeared here as a fact witness and finder of fact, but in our system a finder of fact is supposed to be fair and impartial. He’s supposed to be an umpire. The problem with all of this and the problem that everybody at home can see with their own eyes is that the umpires in this high-stakes game are parading around the field in the majority teams jerseys.”