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TheLastRefuge @TheLastRefuge2
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
1. While I agree with @themarketswork and @SharylAttkisson on the basics of doing part of the Comey congressional questioning in public, here's an aspect I don't see anyone mentioning.
2. The committee in question is the joint House Oversight and Judiciary Committee (Goodlatte and Gowdy Chairs'). This joint endeavor was created earlier in 2018. Here's the structural issue...
3. There are 20 committee members in the Judiciary, and 20 committee members in the Oversight. That's 40 congressional reps in the joint endeavor.
4. During *closed* committee hearings, the Majority Chair (Goodlatte) selects the number of participants. The ranking minority member selects an equal amount (and chooses the participants).
5. That closed committee rule allows for fewer people, but more substantive questioning (ex. Jordan, Meadows, only). Sometimes the ranking member (Dems) doesn't even send/assign minority members to these hearings, and instead sends staff.
6. However, by rule, when the hearing is *open* (and/or public) all of the committee members are allowed to participate. That means 40 reps, and their staff, can show up to the public hearing. By rule (and because of content) no rep can be kept out of a public hearing.
7. You saw this play out during the Joint committee open session with IG Horowitz and FBI Director Wray (post IG report - June 19th, 2018). 40 members x 5 minutes each = 200 minutes, + filler time and statements during Q&A means each round is approximately 4 hours.
8. Four hours for one round of questioning is ridiculous. By the time a rep gets a second effort to question (if even possible) the day is chewed up. Of course this is exactly what James Comey wants; it serves his interests.
9. It does not serve the public interest. That's the problem. It is not an appearance before a limited committee; a singular committee. The fact that it's a joint committee makes the size of the committee dysfunctional for the process of open hearings.
10. One *possible* solution would be for written interrogatories in advance of the hearing. Each of the 40 members could submit 5 written questions which Comey would then answer and become part of the public record before the hearing begins. [Same process for opening stmt]
11. But that would have taken forethought; and there's likely not enough time for that working solution now. [might be, but doubtful]
12. Anyway, that's one of the problems with open session hearings. By house rules every member can attend; and when you have joint committees that means likely 40 representatives showing up for one hearing.

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