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U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) speaks to the media during a press conference on October 23, 2019 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)

'Physically Obstructing Justice,' Dozens of Republicans Storm Closed-Door Impeachment Hearing

The Republican stunt "essentially shut down the impeachment inquiry for a time," said the Washington Post's Rachel Bade.

Jake Johnson

This is a developing story... Check back for possible updates...

A group of over two dozen House Republicans on Wednesday barged into a secure room in the U.S. Capitol building ahead of a closed-door deposition and delayed the testimony of Pentagon official Laura Cooper, a witness in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

"The GOP members who protested the Cooper deposition have essentially shut down the impeachment inquiry for a time," reported the Washington Post's Rachel Bade.

Many of the Republicans involved in the stunt are not members of the House Intelligence, Judiciary, and Foreign Affairs Committees and were therefore not authorized to enter the hearing room.

"Let's see if we can get in," Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), the leader of the group, said at a press conference Wednesday.

Watch:

Ben Siegel of ABC News reported that some of the GOP lawmakers, including Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), were "screaming" as they entered the hearing "and all brought phones into the secure SCIF room," a major violation of House rules. Several Republican lawmakers, including Gaetz, appeared to tweet from inside the secure room and later claimed the tweets were sent by staff.

According to CNN,

A source in the room said that as the witness, Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Laura Cooper, was sitting down to testify, the Republicans stormed through the room's three different doors. Rep. Bradley Byrne of Alabama was yelling at House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, but the California Democrat did not engage, the source said. Other Democrats, including Rep. Val Demings of Florida, shouted back at both Byrne and Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, who were yelling about the process.

Cooper left the room while the Republicans refused to vacate the space.

Schiff, in response to the interruption, briefly left the hearing room to consult the sergeant-at-arms about removing the unauthorized Republican lawmakers.

"That's a lot of sitting members of Congress who are physically obstructing justice," tweeted Sludge reporter Alex Kotch.


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Mark Meadows 'Did Seek That Pardon, Yes Ma'am,' Hutchinson Testifies

The former aide confirmed that attorney Rudy Giuliani also sought a presidential pardon related to the January 6 attack.

Jessica Corbett ·


UN Chief Warns of 'Ocean Emergency' as Leaders Confront Biodiversity Loss, Pollution

"We must turn the tide," said Secretary-General António Guterres. "A healthy and productive ocean is vital to our shared future."

Julia Conley ·


'I Don't F—ing Care That They Have Weapons': Trump Wanted Security to Let Armed Supporters March on Capitol

"They're not here to hurt me," Trump said on the day of the January 6 insurrection, testified a former aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Jake Johnson ·


Facebook Removing Posts About Mailing Abortion Pills—But Not Guns

"Corporations are not your allies in the advancement of civil rights," said one observer.

Kenny Stancil ·


'Morally Bankrupt' G7 Slammed for 'Caving' to Fossil Fuel Lobby on Climate

"People in poverty around the world will pay the highest price for this backtrack by some of the wealthiest countries," one activist warned of the group's new statement on gas investments.

Jessica Corbett ·

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