“What is Adam Schiff trying to hide?” — Rep. Steve Scalise
Wednesday, dozens of Republican Congressmen held a press conference before interrupting the closed-door impeachment hearings led by Rep. Adam Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee.
The interruption prompted committee Democrats to walk out, Schiff included, and delayed the testimony of Defense Department official Laura Cooper who was scheduled to discuss delayed military aid to Ukraine, according to some reports.
From The Washington Times:
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida Democrat, said the sit-in has derailed Ms. Cooper’s testimony and it was unclear when it would start again. Ms. Cooper was not in the room at the time, she said.
Democratic lawmakers leaving the room said those that entered the room brought their cellphones, which is against the rules for a secured area.
“In short they have compromised the security of the room,” Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell said. “Many members, dozens of members brought in electronics. And they not only brought in their unauthorized device, they may have brought in the Russian and Chinese with electronics in a secure space.”
“They had no regard for the witness or making sure we can continue to hold the president accountable and ensure we can get to the bottom of this,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz said. “If they don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to the substance of evidence, they have to argue process.”
One Republican, David Rouzer of North Carolina, defended his colleague’s actions.
“We have a right as members of Congress to know what is going in there. None of this is classified information whatsoever,” he said.
However, as the minority party, Republicans don’t have many options to force their hand.
“It’s really unfortunate that they [Democrats] have the votes and apparently they are not following any procedures, any precedents, any rules,” Ms. Lesko told The Washington Times.
“I’ll tell you what, if we are in the majority, I would not allow this kind of unfair process to go on,” she added.
A few Republican lawmakers still in the secured area said House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff threatened to file ethics complaints against them, though Mr. Swalwell later declined to comment on what those complaints might look it.
Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs, one of those tweeting updates, clarified that the tweets were not coming from inside the secured room but are being passed along to staff to post.
For weeks Republicans have slammed the process as a “sham” that has shut the American people out of the process by keeping the meetings with witnesses behind closed doors. They’re repeatedly demanding Democrats need to hold a vote to authorize the investigation and accused those running the investigations of ushering out “cherry-picked” leaks.
They’ve decried what they see as a lack of due process for the president, arguing the identity of the whistleblower that first put forward the allegations should be revealed.
“House Democrats are bypassing constitutional norms and basic standards of due process with their impeachment obsession,” Rep. Mark Walker, North Carolina Republican, said. “The president is not above justice. But, as you know, neither is he below it.”
House Democrats have launched their own defense of the investigation, arguing it’s akin to the special prosecutor investigations that were a part of the Nixon and Clinton impeachment.
Rep. Val Demmings, Florida Democrat, told reporters Wednesday the Republican claims were unfounded.
From House Republicans:
Adam Schiff just SHUT DOWN his secret underground impeachment hearing after I led a group of Republicans into the room. Now he's threatening me with an Ethics complaint! I'm on the Armed Services Cmte but being blocked from the Dept. Asst. SecDef's testimony. This is a SHAM! pic.twitter.com/6qUMerxENC
— Archive: Rep. Bradley Byrne (@RepByrne) October 23, 2019
.@RepByrne: "This is a sham. They have no process. They have no rules. They’re doing everything behind closed doors…We need to call this out for what it is, and if we had to storm that room to make that point to the American public, then we had to do that." @mynbc15 #C2C pic.twitter.com/BzsBJZ3fQi
— C2C Sinclair (@SBGC2C) October 23, 2019
This week Democrats rejected a vote on the resolution I cosponsored to censure Rep. Schiff and refused to allow my colleagues into the room during hearings. Instead of hiding behind closed doors and leaking info, Members of Congress and the American people deserve transparency. https://t.co/ktzbYGbr0B
— Rep. Ron Estes (@RepRonEstes) October 23, 2019
As Members of Congress, we have the right to access information collected inside the chambers of Congress.
If this is an impeachment inquiry, then ALL Members of Congress, no matter what your party or committee assignment, need to be included. pic.twitter.com/vh8abM6vLP
— Rep. Vicky Hartzler (@RepHartzler) October 23, 2019
435 Members of the House.
Only one knows who the “whistleblower” is and who their sources are: @RepAdamSchiff.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) October 23, 2019
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