WASHINGTON D.C., – October 18, 2019 Representative Doug Collins (R-GA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, sent three letters to Acting Chairperson Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY), and Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA).
Collins wrote to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, House Committee on Foreign Affairs and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence intending to exercise his rights to review the documents and records that each of the committees has. He asked each Chairman, or Acting Chairperson, to “make available all records, documents, transcripts, and other materials related to or obtained in the course of the ongoing joint investigation between the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Committee on Foreign Affairs and Committee on Oversight and Reform.”
Collins set a deadline of 12:00 Noon October 22, 2019 for each Chairman or Acting Chairperson to comply.
Collins had previously written to Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) on August 26, 2019 reminding him that he did not have the authority withhold the requested information under Clause 2(e) of Rule XI. As stated by Collins, “Clause 2(e)(2)(A) of Rule XI makes clear that ‘… all committee records (including hearings, data, charts, and files) … shall be the property of the House, and each Member, Delegate, and Resident Commissioner shall have access thereto.’ While committee may impose reasonable conditions upon inspection of committee records, they are explicitly barred under Rule XI from prohibiting non-committee Members from access to committee records.”
Collins goes on to state that the only way Clause (2)(e) can be modified is with a Resolution adopted by the House, which has not happened.
Collins also goes on to remind Chairman Nadler of the House Judiciary Committee that “the Procedures provide that the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee shall ‘at all times, have access to and be responsible for all information received by the Committee subject of Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(c).’ ” Collins is the Ranking Member of the Committee on the Judiciary and as such should have access.
This resolution requires that “all Members have non-participatory access to committee proceeding related to matter referred to by the Speaker in her announcement of September 24, 2019.”
This resolution reminds all members of the House that a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner cannot be excluded from the committee proceedings related to Speaker Nancy Peloisi’s (D-CA) announcement that she is conducting an impeachment inquiry.
Scalise issued a press statement following the introduction of the rule change, H.Res. 639. “For the sake of our republic, Members of Congress must have access to proceedings with such monumental and dangerous consequences.”