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Republicans bum rush impeachment hearing en masse trying to distrupt testimony

Republicans bum rush impeachment hearing en masse trying to distrupt testimony

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is the quintessential MAGA politician. A self-righteous blowhard whose primary accomplishment to date seems to be managing to not fatally injure anyone while driving drunk, he has become one of President Trump’s most dishonest, devoted supporters in Congress. Gaetz brings that unique blend of incompetence and ignorance to the august legislature that appeals so much to the red cap crowd. Hardly a week goes by without him pulling some idiotic partisan stunt.

Today, Gaetz commanded a clownish cohort of Congressmen as they attempted to barge their way into a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) being used by the House Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs Committees as part of the Trump impeachment inquiry. These facilities are used to review classified information and to protect witnesses and this one, in particular, was only open to members of the committees. The hearings were being led by House Intel Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

CNN’s Manu Raju recounted the brazen GOP. He said Gaetz’s posse numbered roughly two dozen Republican Congressmen and that they approached the SCIFF complaining about Schiff and impeachment inquiry in general. They then entered the SCIF despite the fact that the members of the conservative mob do not serve on the committees involved in the impeachment inquiry and as such are sure to end up getting ejected from the room. Some of the Republicans then proceeded to behave like petulant children as they began “yelling” about the “shame process.”

Add your name to tell Congress to investigate Pence for his role in Trump’s Ukraine corruption. The VP is complicit!

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Apparently, the incredibly immature behavior wasn’t even the worst part of Gaetz’s charge. Politico’s Andrew Desiderio reported via Twitter that a source informed him that many of the Republicans involved in the impromptu raid “brought their cell phones into too into the classified area,” which would constitute a violation of SCIF protocol. The disruption not only forced the committee to pause the deposition of Laura Cooper, a Pentagon official responsible overseeing Ukraine policy, but also necessitated a security sweep of the room because of the cell phone violations. It was Republican obstruction plain and simple.

Responses to the SCIF invasion ranged from disgust to disbelief, but observers seem to agree that this was an embarrassing and futile move on the part of an increasingly desperate GOP. It will have end up having no real effect on the impeachment inquiry and will only serve to further spread the impression that the GOP is little more than a lawless band of goons.

As of this reporting, the deposition still has not been able to resume as not all of the Republicans have vacated the room yet.

Follow Rob Haffey on Twitter here.

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