About 30 House Republicans attempted to force entry today into a closed-door impeachment hearing, violating decorum and forcing police to conduct a sweep for possible security breaches, Axios' Zachary Basu reports.
Why it matters: This standoff was a byproduct of Republican frustrations at the impeachment inquiry, which is being driven by the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees.
- 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.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) tweeted that he was inside the House Intelligence Committee's Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (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.” (He later tweeted that the tweet was sent by staff.)
Reality check: Closed-door hearings are routine for committees, which include both Republicans and Democrats.
- As former Rep. Trey Gowdy told former Rep. Darrell Issa when barring him from a Benghazi hearing in 2015, non-committee members aren't allowed, and "those are the rules and we have to follow them, no exceptions made."
The bottom line: Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense, was scheduled to testify in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump and Ukraine.
- That hearing was delayed 5 hours.