NBC News reports that some two dozen House Republicans staged a publicity stunt in which they attempted to storm the doors of the House Intelligence Committee as they hold the Trump impeachment inquiry.
The attempt to squelch the negative news about quid pro quo occurred as Laura Cooper, deputy assistant to the Secretary of Defense, was scheduled to testify in the inquiry on Wednesday.
Led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., the GOP members — who don’t sit on the committees that are questioning witnesses in the impeachment inquiry — entered the secure room, known as a SCIF, in the basement of the Capitol Visitor’s Center. Before entering, they protested Democrats’ handling of the probe, arguing that the process was not fair to Republicans or the president.
House rules only allow members to participate in depositions if they serve on the committees.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., told reporters that there were approximately 20 GOP members in the room who refused to leave, and said that they came into the secure room yelling that they be allowed inside. Some of these members brought their cellphones, which are not permitted.
New drama: Roughly two dozen House conservatives stormed the secure hearing room – known as the SCIF – to rail on the process, delaying the Cooper testimony. Connolly said that Louie Gohmert and Bradley Byrne were yelling in the room and railing on what they call a sham process.
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 23, 2019
It’s a stunt. They don’t want to be in the hearings. They want to be kicked out and then go on TV and complain about it afterwards–confident that none of their supporters will understand that Congressional rules stiplulate that they have no business being in the hearings.
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) October 23, 2019
Please explain to the American public that impeachment is the equivalent of a grand jury, and that this is just grandstanding by Republicans who want to confuse people about the process. The trial will be publicly held in the Senate.
— Jason Grant (@jase0910) October 23, 2019