CAPITOL HILL – Today the House of Representatives voted to formalize the Democrats' impeachment inquiry. It includes plans for public hearings after House Republicans demanded transparency for weeks.
The resolution to launch an official inquiry passed along party lines. Only two Democrats voted against it and no Republicans supported it.
Both House and Senate Republicans argue the rules outlined in the resolution from House Democrats rob President Trump of the basic right of due process – even as they prepare to hold public hearings and release prior witness testimonies.
"Legitimizing an unfair process by voting doesn't make it fair," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CBN News.
The resolution gives top lawmakers on both sides more time to question witnesses. While it also allows Republicans to request witnesses, the fine print gives Democrats the power to veto those requests.
"Republicans can't subpoena witnesses unless Schiff agrees – so it is a joke of due process," continued Graham.
Sen. Graham has introduced his own resolution in the Senate labeling the whole process a sham.
"They're creating a process that will be damaging to the presidency. Forget about Trump for a moment, if the House in the future can have closed-door hearings where the President's lawyers can't participate, you selectively leak information out to the public to drive the numbers of the president down, you can literally destroy the presidency," warned Graham. "The reason they're not doing it like they did before is because they don't have a case. This is all politically driven."
Democrats maintain they're following tradition.
"They are going forward with one which is something the President and others have insisted on. Secondly, the process is going to be open," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).
They're calling on their Republican counterparts to focus concerns on Colonel Vindman's testimony that the transcript of the infamous Ukraine phone call was incomplete.
"It certainly concerns me if the White House has released an incomplete transcript," commented Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT).
Graham tells CBN News the changes Vindman suggests don't make a difference to him.
"I've made my mind up, there's nothing wrong with this phone call and the changes he suggests make no difference to me," concluded Graham.
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH), who has heard each witness testify, stands by the "no quid pro quo" defense and says he's not concerned with Vindman's testimony.
"The fundamental facts have never changed – read the call, we know what President Trump and President Zelenksy have said and the facts I just went through so no it doesn't trouble me," said Jordan.
He adds that his biggest concern is only one member of Congress knows the whistleblower's identity – House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.
"That's what troubles me more than anything else, particularly now that we're less than 13 months before an election," added Jordan.