The Hearing Crashers: how Republicans want to change the discourse about impeachment
A handful of Republican Representatives stormed a room in the basement of the Capitol to block impeachment hearings held behind closed doors.
"The emptier the pitcher, the more noise it will make," said Alfonso X “The Wise,” King of Castile.
And the famous phrase is becoming more accurate in the halls of the U.S. Capitol, where on Wednesday a group of Republicans shouted into the rooms where House Committees held impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump.
Echoing the president's desperate allegations on Twitter, members of his party decided to interrupt in rooms where three investigation committees would listen to the testimony of Laura Cooper, a Pentagon official who oversees the country's policy in Ukraine.
Rep. Mark Walker: "The American people are being shut out. House Democrats are bypassing Constitutional norms and basic standards of due process with their impeachment obsession." pic.twitter.com/jAvs6hb5kz
— The Hill (@thehill) October 23, 2019
As the Washington Post explained, "the protest was part of a Republican effort to change the narrative from the substance of the allegations against Trump to complaints about the process."
For days now, the GOP accuses the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam B. Schiff - and the Democratic party in general - of "carrying out an impeachment behind closed doors,” despite the fact that the committees have been forced to do so in this way because of the Department of Justice's refusal to investigate all the evidence that has come to light after the White House whistleblower's complaint.
According to California Democratic Representative Ted Lieu, Republicans violated House rules by breaking into private hearings of Committees they don’t belong to and by introducing mobile phones that are totally prohibited in such instances.
Other Republican members who are indeed part of each committee are still able to participate in the hearings and ask questions.
The apparent desperation of the GOP members follows the serious statements given on Tuesday by the interim ambassador to Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr., who told Committee members that Trump wanted to directly link military aid to the condition that Ukraine investigated the 2016 elections and former president Joe Biden.
The Republican crusade against the House investigation will reach a new level after South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham promised to introduce a resolution that condemns the impeachment process carried out by Democrats, arguing that “any impeachment vote based on this process, to me, is illegitimate, is unconstitutional, and should be dismissed in the Senate without a trial.”