House Republicans stormed a closed-door hearing on Wednesday to protest Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. Their move disrupted the deposition of a top Defense Department official at the Pentagon, delaying her testimony.
As The Washington Post reports, Laura Cooper was set to testify about Trump’s alleged move to hold back military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure the country to investigate one of his political opponents in the upcoming 2020 election. Around 11 a.m., a group of about two dozen House Republicans stormed the room, located in the basement of the Capitol building.
The meeting was meant to be held between witnesses and members of the committee investigating the president’s alleged behavior in regards to the Ukraine situation, but Trump allies forced their way into the room, resulting in a shouting match.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, left the room to check with the sergeant-at-arms in the building. Representative Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, reportedly got into a verbal argument with Democrats in the room, according to Representative Gerald Connolly, a Democrat from Virginia.
Republicans are attempting to change the conversation around the impeachment inquiry into Trump and Ukraine. Some conservatives have tried to paint the inquiry as a secretive, partisan process that is being waged unfairly against the president.
Trump himself has called the impeachment a “lynching.” As The Inquisitr previously reported, the president took to Twitter on Tuesday to bash the House Democrats’ investigation.
“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here – a lynching. But we will WIN!” Trump wrote.
It is ONLY about this! https://t.co/ZB5xPDKs4b
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 19, 2019
He has also repeatedly called the investigation a “witch hunt” and has called for the identity of the whistleblower who brought the situation to light to be made public.
Democrats have defended their investigation, saying that private hearings are part of the process, and they will open up the hearing within the next few weeks after the more sensitive parts of the investigation are concluded.
Republicans violated the rules when they stormed the room, as they brought their phones with them. Electronic devices are banned from the room, which is an area set aside for matters that involve sensitive and classified conversations. Per the Post’s reporting, the committee was considering whether they would be forced to physically remove the Republican interlopers from the room so that they could reconvene their investigation.