Republican Riot

Today a mob of Republican House members stormed the House secure hearing room and halted today’s scheduled hearing. Among the mobbers were Steve Scalise, Steve King, Louie Gohmert, Andy Biggs, Bradley Byrne, Mark Walker, Mo Brooks, and Debbie Lesko. The others are yet to be identified.

I’m hearing reports that Trump knew about and approved the riot in adance. I will link to something as soon as I find something linkable.


The group walked into the restricted area en masse, and chants of “let us in” were heard from outside.

A shouting match ensued between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and some Democrats in the room as Schiff left to consult with the Sergeant at Arms, according to Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), who witnessed the scene.

At one point, Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Texas), a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee, started to collect the Republicans’ phones, appearing to realize having the electronics there was a bad idea, Connolly said.

Gohmert, one of Trump’s top defenders, used the opportunity to rail against what he described as injustice toward the president. Many Democrats sat watching, not wanting to engage.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper had been scheduled to testify this morning ‘about the mechanics of U.S. security assistance for Ukraine and the fallout from the White House’s decision to withhold it for several months over the summer,” WaPo says.  The hearing was to have been held in a specially protected room known as a SCIF. SCIF stands for Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility. It’s an enclosed area  used for processing sensitive information, so there is restricted access, no cell phones or recording devices allowed, etc.

By noon, several of the protesting members had apparently tweeted from inside the SCIF, a security breach. The area is tightly restricted to allow lawmakers to review sensitive material without the risk of surveillance, and cellphones are prohibited.

“Reporting from Adam B. Schiff’s secret chamber,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) wrote just before noon, two hours after Cooper’s testimony was scheduled to begin. Biggs stated that about 15 Republican lawmakers remained in the SCIF at that time.

Schiff’s staff declined to comment on whether Cooper’s testimony would be canceled for the day, given the disruption.

Marcy Wheeler:

Twenty-some Republican Congressmen are staging a repeat Brooks Brother riot to stall the ongoing impeachment proceeding….

… In short, a bunch of Republican Congressmen are staging a faux riot in order to prevent DOD from telling Congress how the White House prevented them from following the law that prohibits the White House from withholding funds without a good reason that they share with Congress.

As I’ve said, even these men’s former colleague, Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, has admitted this is a crime. …

… There could be no more symbolic self-emasculation than this faux riot. And yet, over twenty men apparently are willing to trade away their own power like this.

It has been robustly predicted that once Trump’s defense had fallen apart, Republicans would respond by attacking the impeachment process. The predictions were on the money. What this is going to do to the inquiry going forward I do not know, but obviously these goons cannot be allowed to get away with this.