Commentary

Editorial blasts Virginia Foxx for impeachment absenteeism

Rep. Virginia Foxx

In case you missed it, another important political observer — the editorial page of the Greensboro News & Record — has weighed in on Congresswoman Virginia Foxx’s strange behavior regarding the House impeachment proceedings.

As Progressive Pulse readers will recall from our November 21 story, Foxx, a senior member on one of the committees leading the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, has skipped the vast majority of closed-door impeachment depositions. Yesterday, the News & Record assessed Foxx’s actions this way in a powerful editorial:

Maybe those Republicans who didn’t bother to go to the depositions knew the truth behind the loud public indignation: House Democrats weren’t doing anything wrong. Impeachment is a political process, not a legal one. The rules of a courtroom trial don’t apply. Even if they did, the early stages when witnesses are being interviewed to see if impeachment is justified are more like grand jury proceedings — which are closed to the public.

The Democrats were playing by the rules when they chose to question witnesses in the early part of the process in private. They said the closed doors would allow witnesses to speak more frankly. Privacy also means those asking questions are less likely to grandstand. In fact, the rules the Democrats were following had been set by Republicans in 2015, when they controlled the House. Under those rules, it’s fine to do the initial interviewing of witnesses in secret. No sham or Soviet conspiracy is involved. It’s the formal impeachment hearing, like the Senate trial that would follow, that has to be public.

Republicans and diehard Trump supporters were full of sound and fury, railing against those early closed-door hearings. Could it be that they find it easier to try to paint the impeachment proceedings themselves as flawed than it is to defend the president against mounting evidence? Stay tuned.

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