Dem Rep. says impeachment transcripts likely coming 'within the next five days'

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By Allan Smith  with NBC News Politics
Image: Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., at the Capitol on Sept. 27, 2019.
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., at the Capitol on Sept. 27, 2019.   -  Copyright  Tom Williams CQ-Roll Call file

Leading Democrats said Sunday that the public can soon expect the release of full transcripts of witness testimony in the House impeachment probe, as well as the launch of open, televised hearings.

"I think you're going to see all of the transcripts that are going to be released probably within the next five days," Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., told CBS's "Face the Nation." "I don't know if they're all going to be released on the same day, but they're going to be very telling to the American people."

Speaking with "Fox News Sunday," Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said he expects public hearings to begin within two or three weeks.

"Remember, you can't be precise about this because we need to interview a few more witnesses before we're in a position to do public hearings," he said. "But my best guess is that in the next two or three weeks there will be public, televised hearings."

Himes, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, added that Americans will soon see "a process that afforded exactly the same amount of time and access to witnesses to the Republicans as was afforded to the Democrats."

House Democrats last week passed a resolution laying out the next steps in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, including public hearings. Republicans have lamented the closed-door interviews which have taken place so far (though over 40 Republicans have been able to sit in on them.)

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., told ABC's "This Week" that the House resolution affords Trump the same due process as Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, adding that Democrats will soon be releasing the transcripts and holding public hearings.

"Everything is transparent," said Engel, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "The Republicans keep moving the goal post. They tell us they want us to be transparent. When we're transparent, it's not good enough. The president will have every right — all his protections there. They can't complain about not having open hearings, and then when we have open hearings, complain about that as well."

But Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., told "This Week" that there's "no guarantee" the president will enjoy the same due process protections, lamenting the House resolution as "very partisan" and adding that Democrats did not accept any Republican amendments to it.

"They don't want fair rules, they just want to hurt President Trump's chances to win reelection," he said, adding that impeachment is "all about reversing the results of the 2016 election. There are no high crimes or misdemeanors."