Rep. Bill Johnson, who was part of a group of fed-up Republican lawmakers who stormed a hearing related to the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, slammed the “sham of an impeachment proceeding” for occurring “behind closed doors.”
Johnson, R.-Ohio, appeared on "Your World with Neil Cavuto" Thursday to lay out the scene of what led to yesterday’s Republican storming of a closed-door hearing.
“What do they have to hide?” Johnson asked of Democrats. “It is time for them to stop this secretive process and give every member of the House what we are entitled to on behalf of the 721,000 people we represent access to that information.”
“Why the Democrats have decided to do it this way nobody knows,” Johnson told Fox Business' Charles Payne -- who was filling in for Neil Cavuto -- reiterating Republican lawmakers’ frustration at being left out of impeachment inquiry testimonies.
“Under President Nixon, a Democrat speaker gave president Nixon fairness, due process, and justice. Under President Clinton, a Republican speaker gave the same to President Clinton,” Johnson told Payne.
Republican lawmakers on Wednesday held a press conference to "bring light" to the lack of transparency with which House Democrats have allegedly been conducting the impeachment inquiry. After the press conference, they marched into a a secure room in Congress where an impeachment hearing was being held, causing a scene in which House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., abruptly halted proceedings.
Johnson added that he fully supports Sen. Lindsey Graham’s, R-S.C., resolution formally condemning House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry on the grounds that proceedings defy historical precedent and deny fundamental “due process” to the White House.
“I don’t agree with the Washington Post very often but I do agree with their masthead on the front of their newspaper: democracy dies in darkness,” said Johnson. “ The Constitution gives the House full authority over impeachment, not the speaker, and certainly not Adam Schiff.”
Johnson again noted that the inquiry into Trump was unlike any impeachment inquiry before it. “Back to those previous impeachment inquiries under Nixon and Clinton, both the presidents had counsel who were allowed to cross-examine witnesses. They could examine evidence and interview witnesses; they had subpoena power, -- they gave subpoena power to the minority party,” said Johnson.
“There’s no question this is all political,” Johnson added. He said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had brought an impeachment vote to the House floor several times before and it had failed.
Johnson said he suspects Pelosi does not have the votes to pursue impeachment, noting that a lot of members in her party were elected in districts that voted for President Trump in 2016. According to Rasmussen, 21 House Democrats hail from districts that voted for Trump in 2016. Should those Democrats vote against articles of impeachment, Pelosi would not have the simple majority necessary to pass impeachment.
“At the end of the day, here’s what we’re going to find out Charles, the president did nothing wrong,” said Johnson. “I read the transcript, if they don’t have anything to hide why dont they come out and show that.”