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Impeachment Hearing In
According to , President Trump knew of the GOP lawmakers' plan to barge into the secure hearing room on Capitol Hill where Democrats are holding secretive impeachment hearings.
On Tuesday, Trump met with approximately 30 House Republicans at the White House for two hours to discuss the situation in Syria as well as the impeachment inquiry. During the meeting, the lawmakers shared their plans to storm the basement testimony - an action which Trump supported, adding that he wants the transcripts released because they will exonerate him.
"They crashed the party," said Rep. Harley Rouda (D-CA), who sits on the House Oversight Committee, one of three House panels participating in the impeachment probe.
where Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, was providing private testimony.
Several lawmakers said that, in response to the Republican protest, -
According to Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS), Rep. Adam Schiff ssaid "nothing" when the members sat down.
"He doesn’t have the guts to come talk to us," said Marshall. "He left, he just got up and left. He doesn't have the guts to tell us why we can’t come in the room, why he doesn't want this to be transparent. "
Schiff then reportedly threatened GOP members with ethics violations after , per Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), adding that the Democrats' impeachment probe has "far too much fact for their comfort level, so they have to try to stop it from moving forward." (So much fact, in fact, that they have to conduct the probe in secret!)
The move by House Republicans comes a day after another witness, top diplomat William Taylor, testified that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine to pressure the country to conduct a pair of investigations — one into the 2016 election hacking, the other into the family of former Vice President — that might have helped Trump's reelection campaign next year.
Some of Republicans who barged into the hearing room were in possession of cellphones, a violation of the rules governing the so-called sensitive compartmented information facility, known as the SCIF, where the depositions have been taking place.
Wassermann Schultz said Cooper was not in the room at the time the Republicans entered. It's unclear, she added, what will happen next in terms of Cooper's testimony. -
"We want this to continue," said Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), who added that Republicans aren't trying to stop the hearing.
"We want to hear from this witness but so do the other members of Congress," Stewart continued. "This may be within House rules, that’s not the question. The question is, is it a good idea to try and impeach the president in secret hearings."
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