Washington, Sep 25 (IANS) The Republican Party has slammed an announcement by the Democratic congressional leadership that it was launching an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, calling the move a partisan witch-hunt.
After months of resisting an impeachment investigation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday announced that she was instructing six House committees to continue their existing Trump probes “under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry”, reports Efe news.
House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy dismissed the legitimacy of the impeachment proceedings.
“I realize (the) 2016 (election) did not turn out the way Speaker Pelosi wanted it to happen, but she cannot change the laws of this Congress. She cannot unilaterally decide for an impeachment inquiry,” the top House Republican said on Tuesday.
“It’s time to put the public before politics.”
Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of having reached a “predetermined conclusion” about Trump’s guilt, calling Tuesday’s developments part of an “impeachment parade in search of a rationale”.
“It simply confirms that House Democrats’ priority is not making life better for the American people, but their nearly three-year-old fixation on impeachment,” he added.
Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, John Kennedy, told MSNBC: “I’m not sure what the Speaker has done today. I did say go hard or go home, and I say it again to my Democratic friends: either impeach or stop talking about it.
“If you want to impeach him, stop talking. Do it.”
Senate Republican Whip John Thune warned that Democrats were embarking on a perilous journey.
“It’s a risky strategy on their part,” he said. “I know they’re under a lot of pressure to do it, but if you’re the leadership over there, you got to think long and hard about what the implications are if it looks like you’re over-reaching.”
The sole dissenting voice in the crowded Democratic 2020 field was Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, who was less than enthusiastic about an impeachment process she has been warning against for months.
“I think impeachment would be terribly divisive for our already very divided country,” Gabbard said in an interview with CNN. “I think Congress needs to exercise oversight over the information that’s been leaked. I think it’s important this transcript is released to Congress so that Congress can do its job.”
US markets closed down Tuesday over the impeachment uncertainty before Pelosi spoke.
But experts have said that many investors did not expect the Republican-led Senate to ultimately convict Trump in any impeachment trial.
The experts also did not think the House inquiry will have a big impact on stocks.