Local lawmaker calls vote approving impeachment probe ‘political theater’

The House approved rules for an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump in a near party line roll call vote, 232-196. (CNN)
By  | 

WASHINGTON (KWTX) U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, says the U.S. House vote Thursday approving rules for an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump was “pure political theater.”

The House approved the rules in a near party line roll call vote, 232-196.

Republicans, including Williams, say the process was skewed against them and against the White House.

“This has never been about a fair or transparent process, and their attempt to paint it that way is disingenuous,” Williams said.

“Democrats are fixated on removing our duly elected President from office by any means necessary. The resolution we voted on today does not provide for co-equal rights and it is certainly not bipartisan. This one-sided circus is a disgrace to our democracy,” Williams said.

The vote gives Democrats, who will control the process in the House, the means to curb the ability of Republicans to subpoena witnesses and of White House lawyers to present witnesses.

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, echoed Williams’ sentiments, calling the inquiry a “political stunt.”

“Democrats are now attempting to legitimize their closed-door, partisan investigation only because the American people recognize their antics for what they are,” he said.

“This resolution undermines the minority’s ability to call witnesses, while simultaneously emboldening the chairman to proceed without any checks or public debate,” he said.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement moments after the House vote that the process "is unfair, unconstitutional, and fundamentally un-American."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the vote for the inquiry, which she said is a solemn but necessary duty for lawmakers.

"This is not any cause for any glee or comfort,” she said before the vtoe.

"The times have found each and every one of us in this room," Pelosi said. She urged lawmakers to vote in favor of the impeachment rules "to protect the Constitution of the United States. What is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy."