McCarthy calls for Pelosi to suspend impeachment inquiry

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By Alex Moe  with NBC News Politics
Image: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., meets with reporters
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill on Feb. 28, 2019.   -  Copyright  J. Scott Applewhite AP

WASHINGTON — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday to suspend the House impeachment inquiry until she establishes more "transparent and equitable rules and procedures."

"Unfortunately, you have given no clear indication as to how your impeachment inquiry will proceed — including whether key historical precedents or basic standards of due process will be observed," McCarthy wrote in a letter to Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday.

"In addition, the swiftness and recklessness with which you have proceeded has already resulted in committee chairs attempting to limit minority participation in scheduled interviews, calling into question the integrity of such an inquiry," he continued.

The letter is the latest attempt by Republicans to call into question the legitimacy of the impeachment inquiry that Pelosi announced last week. Republicans and Democrats disagree on the need for a full House vote to open an impeachment inquiry, with Republicans insisting that a vote is required and Pelosi and her caucus saying it isn't.

While the Constitution gives the House of Representatives the power to impeach a president, it does not specifically lay out how that process is governed.

In his letter, McCarthy posed several questions to Pelosi, including whether she intends "to hold a vote of the full House authorizing your impeachment inquiry" and whether she plans to grant "co-equal subpoena power" to the ranking Republicans as well as Democratic chairmen of key committees.

McCarthy also asked Pelosi several questions about the rights she plans to afford Trump's counsel, including the right to attend all hearings and depositions and cross-examine witnesses.

"By answering 'no' to any of the above, you would create a process completely devoid of any merit or legitimacy," McCarthy wrote.

Pelosi's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.