A GOP lawmaker crashed Fiona Hill's impeachment deposition and was immediately booted out, newly released transcript shows

Business Insider Politics 1 month ago

Newly-released transcripts of National Security Council official Dr. Fiona Hill's deposition show the dramatic scene when Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida tried to crash the deposition and was booted out of the room by Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff. 

Hill was deposed as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump being spearheaded by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The transcript of Hill's October 14 deposition reveals the acrimonious exchange between Gaetz, who argued he should be present at the deposition by virtue of his membership of the House Judiciary Committee, which is not one of the three committees pursuing the inquiry, and Schiff, who had no patience for his antics. 

A week after Gaetz unsuccessfully tried to crash the Hill deposition, a group of 30 House Republicans barged into a secure committee room where the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight Committees were attempting to depose another witness, an official from the Pentagon. 

The group of House Republicans caused a scene in the basement of the Capitol by storming and occupying the SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) where those three committees were attempting to depose Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper. The GOP lawmakers documented the incursion on social media, and even ordered pizza and other food to the room.

The congressmen's stunt was not perceived as a show of resistance, but widely denounced and mocked as both publicity stunt. More importantly, it was seen as one that compromised national security and revealed hypocrisy.

Many members of Congress brought their cell phones into the room to live-tweet or live-stream the stampede — a serious breach of protocol that poses major national security and cybersecurity risks. 

After the incursion, Capitol Police had to sweep the room for electronic devices and the Sergeant at Arms even had to get involved.

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