Fact-checking Steve Scalise’s claim that Democrats broke House rules during impeachment
Casey Burgat, resident senior fellow for the Governance Project at the nonpartisan public policy research organization R Street, said the House Democrats adhered to the existing rules regarding minority-requested witnesses.
About House Rule XI, Burgat, who previously worked at the Congressional Research Service, said, “It’s not an entire day, and majority still gets to decide when, who, and where, and can even dilute minority chosen witnesses by naming 1 (or 100) of their own. Plus, rules say the witnesses and testimony have to be relevant.” He added, “It is very rare for this rule to be invoked for any committee hearing.”
Furthermore, while the Dreier memo serves as an explanation of Scalise’s interpretation of the rules, it is by no means binding or precedent-setting, and in theory at least is super-seceded by the procedures outlined in HR 660, according to Burgat.
On Tuesday, Burgat clarified his earlier statement about the majority’s authority over minority-requested witnesses. Burgat acknowledged that the majority is somewhat limited in its power to determine who testifies, but retains broad power to set the hearing schedule.
“The when, where, and if additional (majority) witnesses are called is still up to a committee majority,” Burgat said.