WATCH: here’s the video of when 2 dozen GOP members, led by @mattgaetz entered the secure hearing room (SCIF) to interrupt witness testimony in the #ImpeachmentInquiry as they demand access, despite not being committee members. They’re complaining it’s a “Soviet-style process”. pic.twitter.com/8KddYz3r9D
— Scott Thuman (@ScottThuman) October 23, 2019
Courtesy of The Daily Beast:
House Republicans took their impeachment grievances to a more confrontational level on Wednesday, barging in to a secure facility during a closed-door witness deposition and refusing to leave until Democrats held open hearings.
The gambit—cooked up by the pro-Trump brawler Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and endorsed by House GOP leadership—derailed the closed-door deposition of Laura Cooper, a Pentagon official with jurisdiction over Ukraine policy, before it even started. And it left Democrats indignant that their colleagues had violated long standing rules about interviewing witnesses in classified settings.
Cell phones, for example, are not allowed in Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (also known as SCIFs). But the Republican members who barged into those facilities had taken their phones with them and appeared to be live-tweeting from inside the room. Lawmakers and aides said that, as of noon on Wednesday, the SCIF was being swept for electronic surveillance devices because the Republicans brought in their phones, delaying the start of Cooper’s deposition. Democrats were also contemplating whether to bring in the U.S. Capitol Police in order to drag out the protesting members.
The standoff began shortly after a press conference in the morning, in which GOP members denounced what they called Democrats’ “sham” impeachment process—a complaint that they’ve made central to their impeachment pushback.
In a scheme that drew parallels to the infamous Brooks Brother riots that upended the 2000 Florida recount, Gaetz led about 25 House Republican lawmakers into the secure basement SCIF, where bipartisan members of the three committees leading the impeachment inquiry—and only members of those three committees—are allowed to go during the impeachment investigation.
According to Democratic lawmakers in the room, the Republicans blew past police officers to enter the room and began shouting once they got there, loudly denouncing the process and impeachment in general.
It should be pointed out that the way this inquiry is going closely matches with the investigation leading up to Bill Clinton’s impeachment and Richard Nixon’s impeachment.
The only thing new here is the fact that Trump’s sycophants have been ordered to do something, anything to slow down this process and they are complyng with their master’s commands.
The entire strategy here is to obstruct and delay.
Beyond that Trump and his supporters have nothing.
We should also note that what they did was a crime.
Wait!!? Republicans tried to storm a Secure Classified Information Facility (SCIF) where TOP SECRET +++ information is stored & shared? ITS A TOP SECRET FACILITY RUN BY THE CIA/DOD & GUARDED BY TS/SCI CLEARED ARMED POLICE. This isn’t a joke anymore. Charge them with trespass. https://t.co/1rlN8CxTpT
— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) October 23, 2019
Should we all start chanting “Lock them up” now?