Cell Phone Security Breach
Cell phones, which the Director of National Intelligence considers high-vulnerability devices, must undergo a rigorous risk-mitigation protocol to be allowed into a SCIF.;They are specifically designed to thwart attempts at electronic eavesdropping, if protocols are followed.;
;Jordan acknowledged that the cell phone mishap by his colleagues crossed a boundary that should remain in place.
They shouldnt do that. Theyre not used to this. They walked in, as soon as they were told that, they set their phones out, Jordan said when asked about his GOP colleagues bringing their phones into the SCIF.
It was a mistake, No big deal. They shouldnt do that. They understand now and it wont happen again, he continued.
Republicans said Schiff was threatening GOP lawmakers with ethics violations related to the stunt. Schiff was also consulting with the Houses sergeant at arms and multiple members confirmed that House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving was present.
They violated House rules by trying to crash committees of which they dont sit on, said Lieu.
He said that the House Parliamentarian had been consulted, once again, on the issue of barring members not on the committees of jurisdiction from the proceedings.
The House Parliamentarian has; ruled that you just cant crash committees, Lieu said.
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You Need To Be Scared
The impeachment inquiry was launched last month after a whistleblower complaint raised questions about whether President Donald Trump withheld military aid and offered an invitation to the White House as ways to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into investigating the family of Joe Biden, a potential political rival to Trump in the 2020 election.
William Taylor, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, offered testimony Tuesday that countered the White House narrative that there was no quid pro quo in which Trump held up military aid to advance his political interests. Trump wanted to put Ukraines leader in a public box, Taylor recalled.
Apart from Stewart opening the door, none of the Republicans in Utahs congressional delegation participated in Wednesdays storming of the secured room where the House Intelligence Committee was hearing from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper on how aid to Ukraine is managed.
This committee has become a target for Republican ire of an unfair, secret process to take down Trump, as the panel has been especially active in the inquiry while continuing to operate under its normal rules, intended to protect classified information.
Stewart called Wednesdays mayhem caused by his GOP colleagues unfortunate.
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Cell Phones In Secure Spaces And Committee Sit
Defying established security protocols, a cadre of House Republicans led by Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Rep. Matt Gaetz stormed the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility in the Capitol Visitor Center on Wednesday, where the top Pentagon official overseeing U.S. policy in Ukraine was giving her deposition for the Houses impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Hours into a standoff between frustrated Republicans and Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry, a handful of GOP members remained sitting in the SCIF, refusing to leave.
Rep. Michael Waltz told reporters that when he and other Republican members entered the room to hear testimony from Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, Schiff stood up and walked out, accompanied by the witness.
What is Adam Schiff trying to hide? Scalise said as Republicans tried to enter the secure area. They dont even let the presidents legal counsel question people who are making baseless allegations. Maybe in the Soviet Union this kind of thing is commonplace. This shouldnt be happening in the United States of America, where theyre trying to impeach a president in secret behind closed doors.
Intelligence member Val Demings said Republicans are under a lot of stress because of what she said is clear wrongdoing by the president.
And you would have to read it with a member of Democratic staff, that is unprecedented and unfair, she said.
Trump Impeachment: Republicans Storm Secure Hearing
US Republicans have stormed a high-security impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, forcing a witness to delay her testimony by five hours.
The Republicans chanted “let us in” as they forced their way into the hearing, breaching US House security rules.
This week, Mr Trump urged Republicans to “get tough and fight” for him.
Three committees in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives are investigating allegations of wrongdoing by the president.
Democrats accuse him of illegally pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on a political rival, but Mr Trump and his supporters say he has done nothing wrong.
A Chaotic Scene In A Secure Room
The real fireworks happened before she started speaking.
A source in the room said that as Cooper was sitting down to testify, the Republicans stormed through the rooms three different doors. Rep. Bradley Byrne of Alabama was yelling at 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.
Demings, according to one source in the room, asked Republicans if they were trying to teach their children that its OK to lie, steal and cheat so long as you dont get caught?
Dont you have any work to do today? she said to one Republican member, according to the source.
Cooper left the room while the Republicans refused to vacate the space. The source said the Capitol Police and sergeant at arms were consulted when members refused to leave the room.
It was closest thing Ive seen around here to mass civil unrest as a member of Congress, said one source in the room.
Why Is This Happening Now
Some commentators have argued that the Republicans, and Mr Trump, have come under increased pressure following Tuesday’s testimony by the acting ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor.
Mr Taylor testified that Mr Trump had made the release of military aid to Ukraine conditional on a pledge that his political rival, Joe Biden, would be investigated, and said relations with Ukraine had been “fundamentally undermined” as a result.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham responded in a statement: “President Trump has done nothing wrong – this is a co-ordinated smear campaign from far-left lawmakers and radical unelected bureaucrats waging war on the Constitution”.
Democratic congressman David Cicilline described Wednesday’s protest as “a stunt that corresponded very specifically to the president’s complaint that they weren’t fighting hard enough for him, and in direct response to devastating testimony… from Ambassador Taylor”.
However, Republican Jim Jordan, who has taken part in the hearings, suggested that the protesters were simply fed up with the lack of transparency.
“It’s finally reached the point where members just said they’re so frustrated at the idea that they can’t be a part of this and see what’s going on,” he told reporters.
Republicans Try To Storm Impeachment Room Break Rules In Process
WASHINGTON In the latest attempts to make a circus out of the House Intelligence Committees investigation into President Donald Trumps dealings with the Ukrainian government, a contingent of House Republicans stormed a secure room in the Capitol basement Wednesday, disrupting a deposition and violating House rules by bringing their phones into a secure area.
Rep. Matt Gaetz , whose chief of staff sent an email to Republican legislators offices last week about holding a press conference outside the guarded committee room, led the group of roughly 30 lawmakers into the Intelligence Committees secure area. And because the Republicans, who are not members of the committee, brought phones and other electronics into the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility , Democrats said the room would now have to be sanitized.
They not only brought in their unauthorized bodies, they may have brought in the Russians and the Chinese, said Rep. Eric Swalwell , a member of the Intelligence Committee.
Swalwell added that some Republican members held onto their phones even after the Sergeant at Arms asked that they remove them from the area. Rep. Mark Meadows later reported that he personally collected phones from Republicans and took them out of the SCIF.;
Republicans have obsessed over the process Democrats are following, saying its too secretive and unfair to the president.;
Jordan did acknowledge that the Republicans shouldnt have brought phones into the SCIF.
In Senate Trial Pat Cipollone Was Wrong On Gop Access To Scif Depositions
On the first full day of President Donald Trumps Senate impeachment trial, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone claimed that House Democrats had run roughshod over the presidents procedural rights by denying Republicans access to key parts of the investigation.
Cipollone had several complaints, but one stood out to us as clearly wrong.;
“Not even Schiffs Republican colleagues were allowed into the SCIF” during the House impeachment investigation, Cipollone said on the Senate floor Jan. 21.
Cipollones assertion echoed one made by, and on behalf of, a group of Republicans who staged a sit-in at the House Intelligence committee, to protest what they argued were unfair ground rules for the Republican minority during the House impeachment inquiry.
At the time of the sit-in, Republicans could argue that that the impeachment hearings had only taken place behind closed doors and without transcripts being formally released.
But what about access to the depositions at the Intelligence Committee? Were all Republicans banned? No.;
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Why Did Republicans Storm The Capitol Theyre Running Out Of Options
As more testimony is disclosed, it becomes clearer that President Trumps only defense against impeachment is to distract from the facts.
The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstandingvalues. It is separate from the newsroom.
Around 10 a.m. Wednesday, a gaggle of conservative House members on Capitol Hill staged a protest, barging into the secure room called a SCIF where members of three House committees were preparing to hear testimony from Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defense.
Shepherding the demonstrators was Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, one of President Trumps fiercest apologists, whose account live-tweeted the stunt: BREAKING: I led over 30 of my colleagues into the SCIF where Adam Schiff is holding secret impeachment depositions. Still inside more details to come.
This was not a fringe move. Representative Steve Scalise, the minority whip, was among the sea of dark-blue suits that surged into the hearing room.
Chaos ensued. There were shouting matches. Some of the invading members brought along their cellphones, though they are prohibited inside the secure room. Ms. Coopers testimony was delayed, and Democrats called in the sergeant-at-arms for help restoring order.
So many of the defenses he floated early on have crumbled under the weight of subsequent revelations.
But, mostly, its about all theyve got.
A Day After Taylors Explosive Testimony
The GOP disruption comes one day after the committees heard from the top US diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, who told lawmakers in a lengthy opening statement that Trump had demanded Ukraine launch an investigation to help him politically before US security aid to Ukraine would be released, undercutting White House claims there was no quid pro quo with Ukraine.
Some Republicans in Congress have expressed concerns with Trumps conduct following Taylors testimony though others like Jordan have argued Taylor did not establish a quid pro quo as Republicans continue to press Democrats to change how they conduct the impeachment inquiry.
The picture coming out of it, based on the reporting that weve seen, I would say is not a good one, said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, who as the majority whip is a member of Senate GOP leadership. But I would say also that until we have a process that allows for everybody to see this in full transparency, its pretty hard to draw an hard and fast conclusions.
But many Republicans in Congress remain fiercely loyal to Trump.
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House Republicans Literally Storm The Impeachment Hearings
House GOP leadership and, reportedly, the White House itself were aware of the efforts to disrupt the impeachment inquiry.
House Republicans took their impeachment grievances to a more confrontational level on Wednesday, barging into a secure facility during a closed-door witness deposition and refusing to leave until Democrats held open hearings.
The gambitcooked up by the pro-Trump brawler Rep. Matt Gaetz and endorsed by House GOP leadershipderailed the closed-door deposition of Laura Cooper, a Pentagon official with jurisdiction over Ukraine policy, before it even started. And it left Democrats indignant that their colleagues had violated long standing rules about interviewing witnesses in classified settings.;
Cell phones, for example, are not allowed in Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities . But the Republican members who barged into those facilities had taken their phones with them inside the room. Lawmakers and aides said that, as of noon on Wednesday, the SCIF was being swept for electronic surveillance devices because the Republicans brought in their phones, delaying the start of Coopers deposition. Democrats were also contemplating whether to bring in the U.S. Capitol Police in order to drag out the protesting members.;
The standoff began shortly after a press conference in the morning, in which GOP members denounced what they called Democrats'”sham” impeachment processa complaint that theyve made central to their impeachment pushback.;
Republicans Involved In Impeachment Protest Already Have Access To Hearings
13 of the 41 Republican lawmakers who were listed by Rep. Matt Gaetz as planning to storm a closed-door hearing Wednesday to protest an alleged lack of transparency in the impeachment inquiry sit on committees with the power to question witnesses and review documents.
The big picture: The inquiry is currently being led by the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, which are comprised of 48 Republicans in total. House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson has asked the House Sergeant at Arms to “take action” against the members involved in Wednesday’s protest, after lawmakers reportedly brought cellphones inside the classified room and forced the deposition to be delayed for five hours.
Worth noting: A full House vote authorizing an impeachment inquiry would likely allow Republicans to call their own witnesses, but any subpoenas they attempt to issue could be vetoed by Democrats.
Details: The following Republican lawmakers sit on the relevant committees and were listed by Gaetz as planning to participate in the event. Some simply attended the press conference and did not enter the secure briefing room.
Odd Details From The House Gop’s Bizarre Anti
On Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz led about 40 fellow House Republicans into a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility being used to depose witnesses in the House impeachment inquiry of President Trump. Some of the Republicans brought cellphones into the secure room, a big no-no.
If only there were clear instructions
Their five-hour sit-in, which included a pizza party, delayed but did not derail the testimony of Pentagon official Laura Cooper, who spent about three hours with impeachment investigators after the Occupy SCIF crew left.
The performance was meant to highlight the GOP’s attacks on the process House Democrats are using to gather preliminary information, a process that has already produced some damaging revelations about Trump’s Ukraine dealings. Here are four odd details from Wednesday’s bizarre circus:
1. A third of the occupiers had the right to be in the room alreadyDespite Republican complaints that this is a secret partisan inquiry, 48 Republicans and 59 Democrats are on the three committees allowed to attend and participate in the impeachment depositions including 13 of the Republicans who “stormed” the SCIF, by journalist Marcy Wheeler’s count.
Key Witness In Trump Impeachment Trial To Retire
Fed up with the lack of public access to an impeachment inquiry they likened to a Soviet-style process, dozens of House Republicans stormed into a closed-door Intelligence Committee hearing, refused to leave and even ordered pizza.
The pro-Trump lawmakers, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, barged into the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, where Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Laura Cooper was preparing to give a deposition.
Let us in! cried the lawmakers, some of whom were carrying cellphones and other electronics in the secure location, a violation of congressional rules and, possibly, the law.
Rep. Chris Stewart , an Intelligence Committee member who was there for the hearing, said the GOPers didnt know they couldnt bring in electronics.
There were some people that didnt realize they couldnt come in without their Fitbits. That was an oversight, he told The Post.
As Cooper, a Russia and Ukraine expert, sat down to testify, the Republicans reportedly rushed through the rooms three doors shortly after 9 a.m.
Rep. Bradley Byrne started yelling at House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, but the California Democrat did not respond and quickly left the room, located three floors below street level in the Capitol.
Other Democrats, including Rep. Val Demings of Florida, shouted back at Byrne and Rep. Louie Gohmert , who were yelling about the closed-door process.