Friday, 22 November, 2019

Lawmakers Wielding Phones 'Compromised' Classified Room Used For Trump Impeachment Hearing

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley addresses Mr Trump's White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley addresses Mr Trump's"lynching comments outside the White House. EPA
Travis Berry | 25 October, 2019, 00:26

A top Pentagon official who oversees policy on Ukraine and Russian Federation is expected to testify on Wednesday before the U.S. House of Representatives panels leading an impeachment inquiry of Republican President Donald Trump.

The Republicans who forced their way into the room argued they should be able to question the witness even though they aren't members of the committees conducting the impeachment inquiry.

Further, the ranking members demanded that because the impeachment inquiry "has not provided us with co-equal subpoena power-as has been the bipartisan precedent in modern impeachment inquiries- we expect you to arrange for the Committees to receive the testimony of the employees and all individuals he or she relied upon in formulating the August 12 complaint".

Asked if Taylor's testimony was a rough day for the White House and Republicans, No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Thune of South Dakota said, "Probably one of many".

The Department of Defense had directed Cooper, who had agreed to testify voluntarily, not to appear for her scheduled deposition.

Democrats halted the deposition and were consulting with the House Seargent-at-Arms about proceedings, which have been limited to members of the three committees conducting the impeachment probe.

It happened a day after William B. Taylor Jr., the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, testified for hours Tuesday that the Trump administration's dealings with the Ukraine over promised aid for the embattled young country were "undermined by an irregular, informal channel of USA policy-making". Democrats have said they expect to hold public hearings later in the process.

Elliot Mincberg, a senior fellow and counsel at People for the American Way, called Wednesday's actions a "diversionary tactic".

The American public has the right to know the details. Sen.

AOC is crowdsourcing questions for Mark Zuckerberg on Twitter
Elizabeth Warren, a leading Democratic presidential candidate, has advocated breaking up Facebook and other tech behemoths. Other cryptocurrencies also felt the heat of Zuckerberg's testimonial as Ethereum fell as much as 10%.

Republican members of Congress disrupted the closed-door proceedings of the House impeachment inquiry, preventing a Pentagon official from giving her testimony.

Democrats and Republicans began shouting at each other, reports say, and the Republican protesters refused to leave the room for a number of hours, even ordering pizza at lunchtime. Some of the Republican lawmakers had brought cellphones into there room, where electronic devices are prohibited for security purposes.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has been holding closed door testimony the past few weeks with three select committees, which prompted Republicans like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to storm the depositions on Wednesday. "But they won't be successful".

Rep. Steve Scalise, the second-highest ranked House Republican, said Democrats are running a "Soviet-style process" that should "not be allowed in the United States of America".

Trump and the Republican Party then went on to attack the whistleblower, whose identity is unknown, by saying that he was biased against him and that he had only second-hand knowledge of what happened, but since then in different ways the truthfulness of the content of the original complaint.

By noon local time, Bloomberg had reported that President Trump had advanced knowledge of the lawmakers' plans to storm the secured area and had voiced support for interrupting Cooper's testimony.

"For the future of the presidency, we can not allow future presidents and this president to be impeached based on an inquiry in the House that has never been voted upon, that does not allow the president to confront the witnesses against him, call witnesses on his behalf and cross-examine people that are accusing him of misdeeds", he said, adding that Trump should have the same rights as former Presidents Nixon and Clinton.

- More than two months before the phone call that launched the impeachment inquiry, Ukraine's newly elected leader was already anxious about pressure from the USA president to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Records are kept regarding who enters the secured room.

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