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Sunday, June 23, 2024

GOP ‘clowns’ disrupt closed House hearing

"This is a messy moment, no doubt," said Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.).
House Republicans gather for a news conference after Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper arrived for a closed door meeting to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Republican members of the House of Representatives made fools of themselves Wednesday with a childish invasion of the closed-door impeachment proceedings of the House Intelligence Committee.

The grandstanding intrusion delayed testimony of a Pentagon official set to outline more questionable and impeachable actions by their party’s corrupt president, Donald Trump.

Their acts violating the security rules on what is supposed to be a secure and closed chamber by bringing their cellphones in and using them to send outlandish tweets on Twitter.

“I led over 30 of my colleagues into the SCIF (Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility) where Adam Schiff is holding secret impeachment depositions,” bragged Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.

Both Republican and Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee expressed shock and dismay at the showboating.

Sen. Lindsey Graham called his Republican colleagues “nuts” to make a “run on the SCIF.”

“This is a messy moment, no doubt,” said Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.).

Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) said testimony on Tuesday by Ambassador William Baylor was “not positive for Trump” or his administration.

While Republicans continue to decry the impeachment process itself, not one of them who stormed the closed Senate room would offer a defense of Trump’s actions.

“The picture coming out of it based on the reporting we’ve seen I would say is not a good one,” Thune admitted.

Writes The New York Times:

Republicans have increasingly complained that defending Trump against those accusations is a herculean task made more difficult by the president’s impromptu tweets and the lack of coordinated messaging at the White House. As current and former Trump administration officials have testified before the Intelligence Committee, with several backing up the whistle­blower’s allegations, Republicans have struggled to mount a coherent and consistent defense of the president.

Trump increasingly complains that Republicans are not “forcefully defending” him and had to reverse his decision to host next year’s G-7 Summit at his Doral resort in Florida after GOP leaders said that it would also become part of the impeachment charges against him.

Many Republicans are eyeing new polls that show impeachment gaining support among Americans.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found 55 percent of voters supporting impeachment — the highest level yet in their polls.  Other surveys say more than half of Americans not only want Trump impeached but also removed from office.

A senior staff member of one Republican Senator told Capitol Hill Blue privately Wednesday night that his boss feels Trump must go but is not willing to say so publicly…at least not yet.

“He feels Trump’s reversal on the G-7 summit and some of his recent moves after the kickback on his foolish move to remove American troops from Syria shows Republicans can push back against Trump without fear,” he said.

After the “invasion” farce of the closed Senate hearing Wednesday, some Republicans involved in the event now have regrets.

“It was a mistake,” said Republican Rep. Jim Jordan.  “It won’t happen again.”

Dana Milbank, in his daily “Impeachment Diary” in the Washington Post, writes:

They knew they were breaking House rules in insisting that they be allowed to participate in the session even though they were not among the 100 lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans — who sit on the three committees holding the inquiry. “This may very well be within Chairman Schiff and Nancy Pelosi’s authority to do this,” allowed one of the rebels, Rep. Chris Stewart (Utah).

But they also compromised security and possibly broke the law by barging into the room — a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF — with their phones, an easy target for foreign surveillance. “It was a mistake,” Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio) said of the phones. “It won’t happen again.”

But the rules didn’t much matter, for they were acting less as lawmakers than hooligans. The evidence compiled by the inquiry looks increasingly damning as witnesses detail a clear dollars-for-dirt quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine. Trump’s best defense may be to make the inquiry itself look like a circus. Luckily for him, Republicans have a bountiful supply of clowns.

Then they ordered 17 boxes of pizza and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) arrived with a sackful of Chick-fil-A.

Guess all the shenanigans make clowns hungry.

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