Cruz calls impeachment a ‘partisan mission’ as crucial House vote nears

Sen. Ted Cruz Wednesday said that he doesn’t believe the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump protects due process rights, namely those of House Republicans, who are in the minority.

“The process they’re employing continues to deny basic due process protections, including, most critically, the right for the minority to subpoena witnesses,” the Texas Republican told McClatchy.

His comments come a day before the House of Representatives plans to vote on a resolution addressing the next steps in its impeachment inquiry.

The vote Thursday would be the first formal House vote in the impeachment investigation, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, announced in September.

The resolution establishes formal guidelines for the three House committees in charge of the inquiry — Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Intelligence. The new rules address how they call witnesses to testify and how they share their investigation’s findings with the rest of the House.

“I’m glad they’re finally voting. They should have voted to begin with,” Cruz said.

The Texas senator is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump and has been vocal in his opposition to the impeachment inquiry.

If the House, which has a Democratic majority, eventually votes to impeach, Trump would stand trial in the Senate. Sixty-seven votes would be needed to convict and remove him. Republicans control 53 of the 100 Senate seats. The vote Thursday, however, is on a resolution that establishes rules for the impeachment inquiry moving forward.

The inquiry involves a whistleblower allegation about a Trump phone call in July to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump sought an investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Biden’s son, Hunter.

For the last month, the three House committees have been conducting hearings and listening to testimony from White House aides and state department officials behind closed doors, with certain information only accessible to members on those committees.

Last week, Senator John Cornyn, another Texas Republican, spoke out against the closed door manner in which the impeachment investigation was being conducted.

“The whole way this is being handled ... doesn’t really speak to the seriousness of what impeachment and an impeachment inquiry really means,” Cornyn said.

Today, Cruz echoed that sentiment.

“Today’s House Democrats don’t seem to be interested in facts or evidence or what really happened. Instead, they have a partisan mission with a predetermined outcome,” he said.

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Alexandra Marquez is based in Washington, D.C. and is a student at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is an intern working for the McClatchy D.C. Bureau and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.