In a recent letter to Congress, the White House argued that in the absence of a full House vote, the impeachment inquiry is “constitutionally invalid and a violation of due process.” In fact, there is no Constitutional or statutory requirement that the House take a full vote, and a federal Court of Appeals ruled just days after the White House’s letter that the House is not legally required to vote before issuing subpoenas in an impeachment inquiry.
Nonetheless, the White House claims entitlement to certain procedural protections in the House impeachment process, including the right to subpoena its own witnesses and cross-examine the House’s witnesses. In both the Nixon and Clinton impeachment inquiries, the minority party was given limited subpoena power (subject to override by the investigating committee, which preserved the right of the majority party to block those subpoenas).
But Pelosi is under no legal obligation to make the same concessions, or any procedural concessions, here. On one hand, Pelosi might consider giving House Republicans some procedural rights to blunt an argument that the process was unfair or unduly one-sided. On the other hand, House impeachment is an investigative and (potentially) accusatory process requiring no particular protections for the subject -- much like a subject of a criminal investigation has essentially no right to subpoena witnesses at the grand jury stage. The proper place for due process protections, the argument goes, is at a Senate trial to determine the President’s ultimate culpability.