Republicans storm closed-door hearing to protest impeachment inquiry

Source: The Hill | October 23, 2019 | Mike Lillis,Rebecca Klar and Olivia Beavers

House Republicans stormed a closed-door hearing Wednesday morning to protest Democrats’ impeachment inquiry process, breaking up the deposition of a top Defense Department who was testifying about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

“They crashed the party,” said Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.), a member of the Oversight Committee, one of three House panels leading the impeachment probe.

Dozens of Republicans, including some members of leadership, barged into the secure hearing room in the Capitol basement where Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, was set to provide private testimony. GOP lawmakers have argued that other lawmakers, not just members of the three committees leading the probe, should be able to attend the closed-door hearings with witnesses.

Several lawmakers said that, in response to the Republican protest, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) had left the room with Cooper, postponing the interview indefinitely.

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The move by House Republicans comes a day after another witness, top diplomat William Taylor, testified that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to pressure the country to conduct a pair of investigations — one into the 2016 election hacking, the other into the family of former Vice President Joe Biden — that might have helped Trump’s reelection campaign next year.

Some of Republicans who barged into the hearing room were in possession of cellphones, a violation of the rules governing the so-called sensitive compartmented information facility, known as the SCIF, where the depositions have been taking place.

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Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), a member of the Intelligence Committee who is allowed in the closed-door hearings, said leadership is trying to “resolve this amicably.”

“We want this to continue,” Stewart said, adding that Republicans are not trying to stop the hearing.

“We want to hear from this witness but so do the other members of Congress,” he said. “This may be within House rules, that’s not the question. The question is, is it a good idea to try and impeach the president in secret hearings.”

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  •  Consistent #32822

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     EVERYDAY #32836

    Well, well, well. Finally the lazy lump Republicans in the house got off their fat fannies to do something. Too bad it wasn’t something that would benefit the voters who elected them — like, I don’t know, maybe keeping the promises they made to the voters some years ago.

    But I guess they can’t do anything about those promises since they squandered the majority they had in both chambers, and now they no longer hold the majority in the house. So to make the voters think they are really doing something, they are goin ng to pull a stunt like this.

    I understand from other sources that at least some of these protesters are members of the Freedom Caucus, a supposedly conservative group of house members. I say “supposedly conservative” because real conservatives would not be violating house rules and the rule of law by trying to obstruct these hearings.

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     ConservativeGranny #32859

    Aren’t they brave though? And for such a good cause. The GOP finally found the hill they want to die on.

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