Chaotic scene as Republicans disrupt impeachment deposition, violate secure room

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Vladimir Putin

Enlarge Image Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Vladimir Putin AFP Getty Images

If you want to know why Republicans in the Lower House made a decision to storm the safe room to hinder a deposition, it is probably because President Trump and the Red Party are running out of defenses, an article on the NBC News television network said Thursday.

Democrats have said they will not bring the whistleblower in for public testimony given concerns about keeping the person's identity secret.

The protest by Republican lawmakers on Wednesday captured national attention, drawing the focus away from the testimony of a top US diplomat who told lawmakers just a day earlier that he was told President Donald Trump was withholding military aid from Ukraine unless the country's president pledged to investigate Democrats.

House Republicans on Wednesday, as a protest, stormed the SCIF where Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Laura Cooper was preparing to testify before the three House committees leading the inquiry. A five-hour stand-off ensued.

It shows that despite recent news, Mr Trump still has big support from Republicans in Congress at a time when he'll need them to defend him in the impending impeachment vote. "They've occupied, they've interfered with our ability for the Republicans and Democrats who were in that room to hear the testimony", Welch said.

The Republicans decried that the deposition was happening behind closed doors and said Americans should be able to read the transcripts of any interviews being conducted as part of impeachment.

However, more than 40 Republicans are members of those committees, and permitted to take part in the hearings. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said she had just walked into the room when the Republican lawmakers blew past Capitol police officers and Democratic staffers.

Intelligence member Val Demings said Republicans "are under a lot of stress" because of what she said is clear wrongdoing by the president.

Meanwhile, a poll by Quinnipiac University published on Wednesday sees that a 55% majority of registered voters-a 4% increased from last week's poll-said they approved of the impeachment inquiry, while 43% said they disapproved. The former USA vice president is a leading contender for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

"Republicans, you know, are playing to an audience of one, and the President's proud of them, but we're going to continue to do all the work."

But Democrats said the hearings are behind closed doors because they do not want witnesses to coordinate their testimony and to protect them from being intimidated by an administration that has refused to cooperate. He said that Sondland had told him that the meeting with Trump and the release of aid "was dependent" on announcing an investigation into Hunter Biden. "They shouldn't do that, but they're not used to this", Jordan said.

The House Homeland Security Committee chairman, Bennie Thompson, wrote the sergeant at arms complaining that lawmakers blatantly breached security by "intentionally" bringing their electronic devices into the SCIF. The lawmakers, nearly all Republicans, stretched out around her at a table shaped like a "U" for the rare chance to speak on-camera about something other than impeachment.

"Every member of Congress ought to be allowed in that room".

Trump on Wednesday tweeted: "The Never Trumper Republicans, though on respirators with not many left, are in certain ways worse and more risky for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats". "Bill Taylor gave a devastating opening statement yesterday, they're freaked out, (and) they're trying to stop this investigation", Democratic congressman Ted Lieu told reporters.

Schiff's refusal to conduct a transparent inquiry into the president's impeachment, keeping Republicans and the president out of the loop, could be something he may live to regret.

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