House Republicans stormed a closed-door hearing Wednesday to protest Democrats' impeachment inquiry process, breaking up the deposition of a top Defense Department official who was testifying about President Trump's dealings with Ukraine.
"They crashed the party," said Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Calif.), a member of the Oversight and Reform Committee, one of three House panels leading the impeachment probe.
Dozens of Republicans, including some members of leadership like House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), barged into the secure hearing room in the Capitol basement where Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, was set to provide private testimony. The deposition got underway after a five-hour delay. Several lawmakers said that, in response to the Republican protest on Wednesday morning, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) left the room with Cooper and postponed her interview.
“The fact that Adam Schiff won't even let the press in — you can't even go in and see what's going on in that room," Scalise told reporters outside the hearing room. "Voting members of Congress are being denied access from being able to see what's happening behind these closed doors, where they're trying to impeach the president of the United States with a one-sided set of rules, they call the witnesses.”