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About 30 House Republicans attempted to force entry Wednesday into the closed-door hearing where Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense, was scheduled to testify in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump and Ukraine.

The big picture: The Republicans are protesting a lack of transparency in the impeachment process, alleging that the inquiry is not legitimate because a full House vote has not been held and attacking Democrats for holding hearings in private. Because of their efforts to disrupt the hearing, Cooper's testimony was delayed for five hours and began at about 3 pm ET.

Between the lines: Republicans reportedly took pictures inside the House Intelligence Committee's Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) — forcing police to conduct a sweep for possible security breaches. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) tweeted from inside the SCIF: "BREAKING: I led over 30 of my colleagues into the SCIF where Adam Schiff is holding secret impeachment depositions. Still inside - more details to come."

  • Gaetz later added: "**Tweet from Staff**"

Worth noting: The group alleges that they are being shut out of the impeachment process, but there are Republicans on the three panels conducting the investigation — the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees — that are present and able to ask questions at every hearing.

  • A full House vote authorizing an impeachment inquiry would likely allow Republicans to call their own witnesses, but any subpoenas they attempt to issue could be vetoed by Democrats.
  • House Intelligence Committee member Jim Himes (D-Conn.) explained earlier this month that the depositions are private to protect classified information and prevent Trump allies who are being questioned from coordinating their testimonies. He added that witness transcripts will eventually be scrubbed and released to the public.

Go deeper ... Trump's new reality: A daily dump of impeachment leaks

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear themU.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.

Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

Texas Democrats beg Biden to spend now

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The Biden campaign is rebuffing persistent pleas from Texas Democrats to spend at least $10 million in the Lone Star state, several people familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: If Texas — which has 38 electoral votes and is steadily getting more blue, but hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976 — flipped to the Biden column, it would be game over. But the RealClearPolitics polling average stubbornly hovers at +2.6 for Trump — and Team Biden appears more focused on closer targets.

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