Remember when we warned [November 8th, 2018] that a convergence of left-wing groups, activists, DNC donors and specifically the Lawfare team, would align with (and meet) incoming Democrat leadership to construct a road-map for the “resistance” priorities?
Well, exactly that planned and coordinated outcome is visible as incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presents her new rules for the 116th congress.
[IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that Speaker Pelosi has selected former insider DOJ official Douglas Letter to be the Chief Legal Counsel for the House. That becomes important when we get to the part about new powers granted to the House Counsel.]
The Pelosi House rules clearly present the outline for an impeachment calendar as directed by changes to the oversight committees. Additionally, there is a myriad of new processes which appear to have been developed through the Lawfare alliance. Here’s some of the overview (full pdf below):
♦ On page #2, we see a few key points. Pelosi sets up a new, much narrower, oversight priority for Chairman Elijah Cummings; specifically to tailor oversight to the White House and President Donald Trump. Additionally we see the outlined time-schedule for hearings.
In subsection “k” the “clarification” is the narrowing of Elijah Cummings focus. “Oversight Over the Executive Office of the President“. This sets up the system for Cummings to target President Trump, his family, and all members of the executive branch as they relate to specific White House functions.
The Pelosi rules tell Chairman Cummings to deliver his schedule for his investigation(s) to the House by April 15th, 2019. Thereafter the hearing sessions will commence. The objective of those hearings is House impeachment of the President; so now we know the general timeline the Democrats plan to follow.
♦ To help achieve that objective on Page #3 Pelosi changes the rules on depositions:
In previous oversight hearings depositions of witnesses could not be conducted by counsel unless minority members were also present. Pelosi removes that rule allowing an expanded team of House lawyers to question anyone regardless of whether there is a republican present to defend/protect the interests of the witness or target.
♦ Speaker Pelosi also removes any term-limits on committee Chairs. This allows greater political influence and power to the most senior members of the Democrat party.
Additionally, in the event Republicans develop immediate defensive plans to push back against the weaponization of these oversight committees, Pelosi gives her Chairs 60 days to make up the rules for their committees so they can deflect any defenses.
♦ On Page #5 Pelosi removes rules banning head-wear on the House floor. This rule change is intended to permit new Muslim members to wear Islamic-compliant Hijab head coverings.
♦ Also on page #5, House Speaker Pelosi also removes the rule requiring a 3/5th majority vote to raise middle-class income taxes. This paves the way for Democrats to raise income taxes by a simple majority vote.
♦ Following with the investigative plans for impeachment; and in conjunction with all new powers granted to a massively expanded group of House lawyers with new and expanded power; page #7 has specific rules to benefit HPSCI Chairman Adam Schiff:
HPSCI Chairman Adam Schiff can now, autonomously, demand and instruct depositions from anyone, at any time, for any reason; and the House Intelligence Committee does not need to consider any possible scheduling conflicts for any of the targets, or have any republican members present therein. [Schiff granted far more power than Nunes.]
♦ Page #9 is the beginning of a very interesting new power being granted to an expanded office of House Legal Counsel:
This is only the first part of this Pelosi rule. This part speaks to coordination with Lawfare and similar activist groups outside government. The House will now defend Obamacare, and all other possible constructs, with a legal team – regardless of what the DOJ might be doing on the same legal matter. In essence, a mini-legislative DOJ branch that will fight the U.S. Dept of Justice if needed. (more on this in another section).
♦ Two rules on Page #10 are interesting. The first rule allows Non-Disclosure Agreements that no longer have to pass through ethics reviews. This permits House members to force staff to sign NDA’s that may or may not be ethically approved.
The second rule on page #10 is Speaker Pelosi rebuking any demand that House members should be forced to pay for sexual harassment settlements. By obfuscating the rule to overlay with the 1995 rules against any discrimination, essentially Pelosi removes any risk for members surrounding “harassment“. It’s a nice head-fake to create the appearance of something that doesn’t technically exist. Very progressive approach.
♦ Page #11 creates a new House Committee for Climate Change. [15 members: 2 chairs, 7 democrats and 6 republicans]:
Here Speaker Pelosi sets up an internal House division of lawyers, paid with taxpayer funds, to defend Obamacare against any adverse action. In essence Pelosi is setting up her own Legislative Branch division of justice, to fight against the Executive Branch U.S. Department of Justice if needed.
The primary issue surrounds defending Obamacare from possible legal removal. However, it doesn’t take a deep political thinker to see where this approach ends up. It would be naive to think the Lawfare group (Benjamin Wittes) did not help create this new internal legal system.
Normally/traditionally House Counsel represents the interests of the entire Legislative Branch on any issue that might surface. However, Pelosi is setting up a legal activist agency within the House Counsel that will specifically “advocate” for Democrat priorities, against the position of the U.S. Department of Justice, and use taxpayer funds to finance the scheme.
Speaker Pelosi is creating her own mini DOJ inside the legislative branch. And, with additional investigative powers granted to House committees, we might even see a mini-FBI units, dispatched to conduct investigations and spy operations, accountable only to speaker Pelosi. Heck, considering congress already has subpoena power, there’s no telling where this might end.
[Remember, House democrats have already promised to get rid of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as part of their legislative branch priorities.]
There’s more rules with various levels of consequence. I would suggest you get familiar with them; contrast against what republicans would never consider doing; and bookmark them for reference later this year when everyone starts asking: how is this possible?