House Democrats have ignored historical precedent and political decorum by not holding an official impeachment vote in their fight to remove President Trump from office, said "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace this week.
Wallace was interviewing House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., and questioned why Speaker Nancy Pelosi hadn't taken steps to solidify the party's stance and go on record against the president. Demings said Democrats weren't bound by any precedent, while Wallace begged to differ.
"There is no requirement under the Constitution that we have a full House vote," she replied. "There is no requirement under House rules that we have a full House vote. And there is no precedent that we have a full House vote that really drives what we do."
"Wait, wait, wait," Wallace shot back. "Congresswoman, you say there’s no precedent... In both the Bill Clinton case and the Richard Nixon case there was a clear precedent. The full House voted and authorized a full impeachment inquiry, so there's a precedent."
Demings ignored Wallace's point and pivoted to the "pain" felt by members of Congress who are involved in the probe, adding that all Americans should share their concerns.
"There is no requirement, again, under the Constitution, and no requirement under House rules that that is the procedure that we follow," she repeated.
"This [sic] past ten days have been painful for members of the House on both sides of the committee," Demings continued. "Obviously it’s been quite painful for the Senate even though too many senators are quiet on this issue, and so we need to conduct a very methodical, very thorough investigation... I believe that every American should be painfully concerned about what they have witnessed over the last couple of weeks."
Demings also commented on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and his possible involvement with helping the Ukraine whistleblower draft and release their statement. She claimed Schiff said he never publicly spoke with the whistleblower in front of the committee, and seemingly excused him for any contact he may have had with the leaker before the Ukraine story broke.
"With the president being accused of using his power and abusing his office to coerce a foreign country to assist in an election, it’s kind of amazing that we would try to make the news of the day centered around Chairman Schiff’s words as it pertains to contact with the whistleblower," she said.
"Chairman Schiff said he could have... responded to that question in a more clearer way," Demings continued. "When he was asked the question, my understanding is that he was thinking of -- has the whistleblower come before the committee? Is the committee aware of the nature of the complaint? No. The whistleblower had not come before the committee, nor was the committee or even staff aware, necessarily of the nature of the complaint. It was a question about procedure and process."