Due process may be a standard part of court procedure in the United States, but according to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), it’s not for everyone. This week, Ocasio-Cortez shared her thoughts on due process – stating that allowing for due process in impeachment proceedings would “help potential criminals line up their testimony.”
Ocasio-Cortez has long been a proponent of impeachment, even incorporating it into her own campaign platform. She explained her support for the current impeachment proceedings and their secretive nature this week. Her comments came in response to a tweet by Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) on Twitter:
“Hey @AOC I thought you supported Open and Transparent government. Truth is for @AOC the ends justify the means and she gladly reverts to Soviet style secret hearings in the Capitol basement. Socialism and one-sided Kangaroo Courts have no place in the #USA #ExposeSchiffSCIF”
Ocasio-Cortez launched a flurry of responses about the “massive crime” that was being investigated. She stated that the magnitude of the “crime” meant that despite due process, investigations and depositions needed to be conducted in secret. In other words, fair play and due process would impede the rush to impeach by Democrats. According to Ocasio-Cortez:
“Rep. Mooney, you & I both know that when a massive crime is committed, the 1st step is to separate witnesses & get their stories to see what adds up…You know that making these depositions public will help potential criminals line up their testimony. Why do you want to do that?”
The interaction came after House Republicans stormed into the secret impeachment dungeon created by Schiff to demand more transparency. According to Republicans, there is no valid reason for the secrecy – and no reason to hold interviews in the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) – because there was no classified information included or requested.
Down in the basement SCIF, Democrats continue to work secretly and feverishly and leak only what they want the nation to hear – there is no way to know the full context of anything being said. According to House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA):
“The president could have legal counsel in the room to question the witnesses that were trying to take the president down. That was the Nixon standard. When they had the Clinton impeachment, reverse the parties, Republican president and House Democrat Majority, they used the Nixon standard, which was both sides can call witnesses. The White House can have a lawyer in the room to question witnesses.”
In this case, though, that did not happen. Instead, Nancy Pelosi just launched an inquiry and empowered Adam Schiff to begin secret proceedings behind closed doors. No oversight, no cameras and no-one is permitted to watch. The majority of Congress has been excluded as well.
Ocasio-COrtez found calls for transparency laughable, and discounted the idea of fairness, transparency or due process, claiming that the “criminals” could use these to come up with lies. The secret sessions continue, with no way to determine the viability or accuracy of the news being leaked.