Today’s deposition of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper was delayed for five hours when Republican House members stormed the room where the deposition was to take place.
Some Republican lawmakers brought their cell phones into the secure area where the hearing was to take place — a major violation of House rules. Afterwards the room had to be fully swept for potential security breaches, with Democrats claiming Republicans had compromised national security by bringing electronics into a SCIF.
An official working on the impeachment inquiry said some GOP lawmakers “refused to completely remove” their devices even after being reprimanded by security personnel and the House’s sergeant-at-arms, adding that the House’s parliamentarian concluded that the GOP lawmakers who stormed the facility violated House deposition rules.
According to CNN and Politico, Democrats describing the scene were “visibly frustrated” and vowed that the Republican effort would not throw their impeachment inquiry off course. They said the stunt showed that Republicans were reeling from Tuesday’s testimony by William Taylor, the top American diplomat in Ukraine, who directly tied Trump to a quid pro quo with the eastern European nation involving critical military aid.