About two dozen House Republicans, chanting “Let us in! Let us in!” tried to storm the secure room where a Defense Department official arrived this morning to testify in the impeachment inquiry, refusing to leave even after they were turned back by Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee that was leading the deposition.
None of the Republicans are on any of the committees conducting the inquiry.
About two dozen House Republicans, chanting “Let us in! Let us in!” tried to storm the secure room where a Defense Department official arrived Wednesday morning to testify in the impeachment inquiry, refusing to leave even after they were turned back by Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee that was leading the deposition.
Republicans are hammering Democrats for limiting attendance at the hearings to members of the Intelligence, Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees. It is common practice for sensitive congressional investigations to be conducted behind closed doors, at least in their preliminary stages. House Republicans did just that when they controlled the chamber and opened an inquiry into the 2012 attack on the United States embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
GOP Final Benghazi Report: P. 360— Heidi Przybyla (@HeidiNBC) October 23, 2019
‘The Committee’s pref. for private interviews over public hearings has been questioned. … Interviews allow witnesses to be questioned .. by a highly prepared member or staff person. ” Open hearings “precludes in-depth focused questioning.’
But in “storming the SCIF” without observing the security protocols, Rep. Gaetz et al, endangered our national security & demonstrated they care more about a political stunt than protecting intelligence information.— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019
I cannot emphasize enough how serious this is.
Remember when a bunch of Republican men spent the entirety of 2016 trying to convince us that Hillary Clinton’s emails were an imminent national security threat? And then those same Republican men stormed a SCIF with their electronic devices because the rules don’t apply to them?— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) October 23, 2019
In 2017, the GOP passed House rules that prohibited protesting to obstruct the House floor, mandating a $500 fine for first violation and $2,500 fine for second. https://t.co/6yq4z2PBHs— emptywheel (@emptywheel) October 23, 2019
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
In the DOD a breach of a SCIF is punishable by revocation of all security clearances / confiscation of electronic devices (for malware screening), and possible UCMJ / criminal charges. Why are they not being punished? (For reference its DODm 5105.21)— Cassidy (@PhotoCassidy) October 23, 2019
Gaetz’s stunt is a sign of Trumpist desperation, because it does risk alienating any GOP members—and there are some—who have some regard for the dignity of the House or for national security.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) October 23, 2019
If an employee of the intelligence community brought their personal device into a secure facility and live-tweeted a meeting, it would probably be their last day employed by the U.S. government.
I don’t think this helps. Maybe with the base, but the base is going to back Trump until his dying day anyway.
Bloomberg is reporting that Trump had advance knowledge and supported a protest by these Republicans who told him they planned to barge into a secure hearing room on Capitol Hill where Democrats are holding impeachment testimonies, according to four people familiar with the matter.
Trump and House Republicans planned today’s obstruction breach. They also planned it at a time Speaker Pelosi was attending her brothers funeral.— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) October 23, 2019
House Intel committee official says of the SCIF stormers: "The House Parliamentarian has ruled that these members are in violation of House deposition rules."— Sam Stein (@samstein) October 23, 2019
OH boy: the House Sargent at Arms just walked into the SCIF…— Rachael Bade (@rachaelmbade) October 23, 2019
Never Trumper Republican John Bellinger, represents Never Trumper Diplomat Bill Taylor (who I don’t know), in testimony before Congress! Do Nothing Democrats allow Republicans Zero Representation, Zero due process, and Zero Transparency….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2019
Ugh… more hits:
WASHINGTON (AP) — A judge has directed the State Department to begin producing within 30 days documents related to the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine. The records are sought under a FOIA request by American Oversight, an ethics watchdog.— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) October 23, 2019
MORE UPDATES: Trump has tweeted four times in the past hour using the phrase “Never Trumpers”. I’m not sure what the strategy is. There might not be one. Maybe the party’s splitting, and he feels and fears it.
One of the two indicted associates of President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, on Wednesday tied the case to the president himself, saying that some of the evidence gathered in the investigation could be subject to executive privilege.
The unusual argument was raised by a defense lawyer in federal court in Manhattan as the two associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, pleaded not guilty to federal charges that they had made illegal campaign contributions to political candidates in the United States in exchange for potential influence.
Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman have become unexpected figures in the events at the heart of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, having played a role in helping Mr. Giuliani’s efforts on behalf of President Trump to dig up information in Ukraine that could damage former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a prospective Democratic challenger.
Edward B. MacMahon Jr., a lawyer for Mr. Parnas, said the potential for the White House to invoke executive privilege stemmed from the fact that Mr. Parnas had used Mr. Giuliani as his own lawyer at the same time Mr. Giuliani was working as Mr. Trump’s lawyer.
And now the clown show is over…
Cooper testimony begins after 5-hour delay. She didn’t have an opening statement. Asked if he may disrupt future proceedings, Matt Gaetz told me: ”We’ll see”— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 23, 2019