GOP lawmakers storm closed-door impeachment session, as Schiff walks out
According to a 23 October 2019 Fox News article, GOP lawmakers stormed a closed-door impeachment session.
House Republicans led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., on Wednesday essentially stormed a closed-door session connected to the impeachment investigation of President Trump, prompting House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff to suspend the proceedings in a remarkable scene.
The standoff happened Wednesday morning after lawmakers held a press conference in which they accused House Democrats of lack of transparency.
“We’re going to try and go in there, and we’re going to try to figure out what’s going on, on behalf of the millions of Americans that we represent that want to see this Congress working for them and not obsess with attacking a president who we believe has not done anything to deserve impeachment,” Gaetz said.
The Republicans specifically called out Schiff, D-Calif., who is leading the investigation.
(Read more at Fox News)
Matthew Gaetz and the Freedom Caucus stand up to the closed-door Democrats
The following video and table chronicle the speeches of the Representatives who spoke at Matt Gaetz’s gathering.
|Gaetz:||I’ve gathered here with dozens of my congressional colleagues underground in the basement of the Capitol, because (behind those doors) they intend to overturn the results of an American presidential election.
We want to know what’s going on and it’s only reasonable that we would have questions. Because (so far) Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquiry has been marked by secret interviews; selective leaks; weird, theatrical performances of transcripts that never happened, and lies about contacts with a whistleblower — I’m going to have a few of my colleagues give remarks. Then we’re going to try and go in there. We’re going to try to figure out what’s going on. On behalf of the millions of Americans who we represent, who want to see this Congress working for them and not obsessed with attacking a President who we believe has not done anything to deserve impeachment. Now the Republican Whip. Steve Scalise.
|Scalise:||Thank you, Matt. What is Adam Schiff trying to hide? I think that’s a question so many people have, so many of my colleagues have, so many people in the press should have. Through those hidden, closed doors over there, Adam Schiff is trying to impeach a President of the United States behind closed doors – literally trying to overturn the results of the 2016 election a year before Americans get to go to the polls to decide who’s going to be the President. Frankly, it should be the people of this country who decide who’s going to be the President. Not Nancy Pelosi and not Adam Schiff (in secret, behind closed doors).
The fact that Adam Schiff won’t even let the press in (you can’t even go in and see what’s going on in that room) …
Voting members of Congress are being denied access from being able to see what’s happening behind these closed doors where they’re trying to impeach the President of the United States with a one-sided set of rules. They call the witnesses. They don’t let anybody else call the witnesses. They don’t even let the President’s legal counsel question people who are making baseless allegations. Maybe, in the Soviet Union, this kind of thing is commonplace. This shouldn’t be happening in the United States of America where they’re trying to impeach a president in secret, behind closed doors.
The American people deserve better. We will demand better for the American people.
With that, I will bring up … Where is Jim Jordan? Is he here? He’s probably in that room right now, fighting. … Mark Meadows … Mark Walker’s up.
|Walker:||Thank you, Whip. Thank you, Matt. The American people are being shut out. House Democrats are bypassing Constitutional norms and basic standards of due process with their impeachment obsession. It has been said, but bears repeating: the President is not above justice, but — as you know — neither is he below it. Facing your accusers; the ability to call rebuttal witnesses; cross-examinations; the right to object to evidence; and the ability to attend hearings, depositions, and interviews — these are basic standards that every American should expect (including the President of the United States, who is currently being the target of an angry mob, a willing media machine, and a twisted version an an impeachment process that didn’t begin two months ago. It began day one of this administration.)
It is a sham and it’s time for it to end.
|Biggs:||Thanks, Mr. Gaetz. Thanks, Mr. Scalise, for putting this together. Let me just tell you something. You should be outraged, if you are an American, at what’s happening here. You should be allowed to confront your accusers. This is being held behind closed doors for a reason: because they don’t want you to see what the witnesses are like. Let me give you an example. Recently, we had the Mueller (testimony). Mr. Mueller came in to give a report in the Judiciary Committee. You were there. You saw it. The American people saw it. You know why Mr. Mueller’s report fell apart and why we knew there was nothing there? Because we got to observe Mr. Mueller himself as he testified. Because, when he was asked questions, you could see he didn’t understand what had happened in his own investigation. You saw him flipping through pages.
(In the American justice system) You get to see who is accusing you. When you’re denied that, you might as well be living in the former Soviet Union. This is a Soviet-style impeachment process. This is closed doors. It is unfair in every way and I don’t care if you are the President of the United States or any other citizen of this country — you should be allowed to confront your accuser. Absent that (absent that), you get nothing but tyranny and that’s what’s going on with Mr. Schiff. We’re going to go in there today and demand that we get our rights as members of Congress. And with that … Zelden.
|Zelden:||I’ve sat through all the depositions. I’m about to go back in Adam Schiff’s bunker, here in the Capitol basement to sit through another deposition today. I want all of my colleagues to know every single question that’s been asked and every answer that’s been told. I want all my constituents and their constituents to know every question that’s been asked and every answer that’s been told. What is happening behind closed doors is unclassified. There’s no reason why the American public shouldn’t be able to watch this in real-time, live.
This is a process lacking legitimacy, credibility, and fairness. We have a huge problem with that. One fun fact from yesterday: I saw that the opening statement leaked. This is what happens. This is the Democrats’ strategy — they like to cherry-pick leaks. Turn to page 12: the only reference to Joe Biden (other than the one reference to the July 25th transcript). In that one reference, it’s not firsthand from Ambassador Taylor. It’s not secondhand from Ambassador Taylor. It’s not thirdhand from Ambassador Taylor. You all make it a big deal of Ambassador Taylor telling him that Tim Morrison told him that Sandlin told Morrison that the President told Sandlin that the President told Szalinski … Give me a break.
On the process and the substance, this whole thing has been a joke.
I appreciate my colleagues for having today’s press conference. They deserve answers. My constituents deserve answers. I would like to bring up Mo Brooks.
|Brooks:||Let me focus on just one of the defects foisted on the American people by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff. They used the secretive, infamous Star-chamber-type proceedings in the Capital’s basement rather than public proceedings where the American people can see for themselves, firsthand, the railroad job being presided over by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Chairman Adam Schiff. The American people deserve a public and open process. Bear in mind the significance of what we’re talking about here today. We are a republic. Close to a million Americans have fought in wars, beginning with the Revolutionary War, to give us the rights to control our own destiny.
What the Socialist Democrats seek to do today is to thwart, to disregard, to repudiate the votes of 60 million Americans in the 2016 elections. By golly, if they’re gonna do it, do it in public. Don’t hide it from the American people. Show your face where we can all see the travesty that you are trying to foist on America and the degradation of our republic that you are engaged in.
We demand open proceedings. The American people deserve nothing less. Their representatives in Congress deserve nothing less.
Next is Jim Jordan.
|Jordan:||I would just say this: why don’t we know? Why don’t we know know who the person is who started this whole charade that Adam Schiff is now doing in the bunker of the basement of the Capitol? If you look at the whistleblower’s complaint (page one of the complaint) he talks about more than half a dozen individuals he’s used to form the basis of his complaint. We have no idea who these folks are.
As I said last night on the floor of the House, there are 435 members of the House representing over 300 million Americans, and the only one of those 435 who know the individuals who started this whole thing — the only one — is Adam Schiff.
Why don’t the rest of us know? More importantly, why don’t the American people know?
The American people — they understand fairness and they instinctively know that what is happening here is not fair. That’s why I want to applaud my colleagues (Whip Scalise, Matt Gaetz, and the rest of the team here) for standing up and saying, “Look, it’s time that we know who started this whole thing.”
The more than a half a dozen folks he references “said over the past four months more than a half dozen people have informed me about the complaint the he filed.” Who are those people? We’ve had seven witnesses. To date, I don’t think any of them have been the ones that the whistleblower (the so-called whistleblower) was referring to.
So we need to hear from them and we need this done in the open so the American people can see. Thank you.
|Adams:||For two years, Adam Schiff told the American people that he had evidence (proof) that President Trump had colluded with Russia. Then we find out after two years, 25 million dollars spent, twenty-eight hundred subpoenas, 500 interviews that no, that was not the case. Then Adam Schiff, on public TV, says “No, our office didn’t have any coordination — we didn’t hear at all from this whistleblower.” Then that turns out to be false. And then, in a committee hearing, he makes up a totally made-up conversation between President Trump and the Ukrainian president (I assume to try to deceive the American public).
Now, he wants us to believe that he’s like a special counsel in these closed-door meetings over here? … That I can’t go into as a member of the Judiciary Committee and that even Republican members on the committee can’t even see the transcripts???
This is totally unjust. It is totally unfair. There was no vote on the floor of the House of Representatives — as hs been done in the past — to authorize this impeachment inquiry with a standard set of rules and due-process procedures that any American citizen should get. (Let alone the President of the United States.)
So, I say to you, this is unfair and it is a total political hit job on the President of the United States. This is unjust. I hope the American people see it for what it is. Thank you.
|:||It’s time for Congress to get to work for the American people. The people of my district sent me here to get things done that they care about. Their healthcare costs are too expensive. Their prescription drugs are becoming unaffordable. Roads are crumbling. We need to continue to rebuild our military. Look at the threats from Russia and China.
Yet what does Nancy Pelosi want to do? What do the Democrats want to do? They want to continue America on this terrible road of impeaching our President for something that he hasn’t even bene indicted on or found guilty of. To show you how unfair this process is, we can only look at what happened when President Nixon and President Trump were starting down the road of impeachment. First, there was an indictment. There was a finding of guilt first and then there was a vote in the House of Representatives to start the process. A process was established and the American public had an opportunity to view and to hear from the witnesses — to see the evidence (or not).
The President had an opportunity to have his counsel there by his side. He had the opportunity to ask questions. He had the opportunity to bring other witnesses.
My colleagues on this committee can’t even bring their own witnesses back and they can’t even speak about what is going on in there. Yet the Democrats come out and they tell what is going on.
They leak certain quotes that they select to create a narrative that they want to control, that they want to put forth to the American public as a lie — with one goal in mind: to undo the election — to undo the voice of the American people from a few years ago and to deny the American people the truth, to deny us the truth, and to deny me the truth.
As a member of Congress, I cannot see the testimony that was provide there from Ambassador Volker. I have requested it. I am a member of Congress. I represent over 760 thousand Missourians. I represent their views. So it is time and I call and my colleagues call upon the Democrats to open up this process, to be fair, to shine a light on it for the American people for posterity and because there’s so much at stake. I call upon them to get things done, like pass the USMCA (which will create 176 thousand jobs 63 billion dollars of economic activity). I think that is what we should be focusing on and not trying to impeach a President for something he hasn’t even been found guilty of.
|:||This is supposed to be the people’s house. We, the legislative branch, cannot make a bill a law without a vote.
That is how the people of Tennessee, the people of America, have a voice. Remember, Speaker Pelosi, this government, through its legislature, is of the people, by the people, and for the people. Speaker Pelosi has tyrannically commandeered the House of Representatives. It is as if she thinks the founders wanted a government of Pelosi, by Pelosi, for Pelosi.
America, whatever you believe about our President, you must realize that senior Democrat leadership in the House is ignoring the founding principles of our democracy.
We need the House to vote on this and it must be done in transparency.
As the Good Book says, those things done in secret are from darkness. These elites, who care nothing for the people, must hear from the people. Call Speaker Pelosi and demand an end to this threat, this violation of freedom and democracy. Thank you.
|Waltz:||Representative Mike Waltz from Florida. I’m a green beret. I’m a proud veteran. This process does not make me proud. I have fought from Afghanistan to West Africa. I have operated in countries — in third-world countries — who have fairer processes to deal with their elected leadership than what we’re seeing today.
I talked to veterans at home. I talked to veterans abroad. We have operators and special operators in 60 to 70 countries today as we speak.
They’re ashamed of this process. They don’t have a defense bill, yet.
We’re on a continuing resolution (which means all of the new programs that they need to face China, to face Russia, to face Iran, to face North Korea, to continue to combat terrorism can’t start yet), because we can’t seem to get it done in this Congress — because we have six committees (SIX COMMITTEES) dealing with this investigation.
We have our intelligence professionals, all over the world, trying to keep this country safe and we have the Intelligence Committee (day after day after day) dealing with this nonsense, dealing with this unfair process. I, as a sitting member of Congress have been asking for weeks to have access to these transcripts, to have access to Volker’s transcript and you all know more about it than I do. You all, who are not elected in the media.
I am representing nearly a million Floridians and I can’t see it.
Is that fair? Is that worthy of the sacrifice of the men and women who have died for this country?
I would think not and you know what rings loud and clear to me is a veteran back home who said “All you politicians do is fight. All you do is fight amongst each other. You’re doing nothing for me. You’re doing nothing for the care that I fought to deserve. You’re doing nothing to defend this country. You’re doing nothing to move my family’s life forward to a better place.”
And here we are, all fighting over this unfair process.
It’s a shame. It’s not worthy. We can do better as Americans and Americans expect us to do better. Thank you.
|Carter:||I’m Buddy Carter. I have the honor and privilege of representing the first Congressional District in Georgia. Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re an American and you’re within the sound of my voice (regardless of whether you’re a Democrat, regardless of whether you’re a Republican, or regardless if you consider yourself an independent — regardless if you hate Donald Trump or if you love Donald Trump) — if you’re an American, you have to be outraged by what is going on here.
Since day one, the Democrats have not accepted the fact that Donald J. Trump is President of the United States.
Now, we find ourselves with them behind closed doors, trying to impeach a sitting president. Ladies and gentlemen, if a government can do this to the President of the United States, they can do it to you, as well.
You need to be scared. You need to be very scared. This needs to stop. It needs to stop right now.
We need open government. This is the United States of America.
Please, I beg of you, pay attention. Stay focused. Keep your eye on the ball. What is happening here.
We cannot allow this to go on. Adam Schiff has to stop. Nancy Pelosi has to stop. This process has to stop and it has to stop now.
|:||Ladies and gentlemen, what makes America the greatest country on Earth?
It’s the fact that we believe in justice. We believe in equal justice under the law.
How is that achieved? It’s acheived though transparancy and it’s achieved through fairness. This is simply not … is not the process that is occurring now. We have secret hearings that are going on that we, as te elected members of the United States Congress (435 members) are not privy to.
That is simply not fair. That is simply not what makes America the greatest country on Earth.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are about the law. We are about justice. We are about doing what is right. This is not right. This is not the right process.
So, ladies and gentlemen, I call upon you to call upon Adam Schiff, to call upon the Speaker, to make these puppet … these processes public.
We hae great work to be done in the United States. We were elected to serve the people and to do their work.
We’re not doing that now. We’re doing a grave injustice to this nation.
Who benefits? North Korea. Russia. China. They’re looking at us and laughing at us making a mockery of democracy. That’s what this is. It’s a mockery. Please, for the sake of America, let us end this miss … this injustice and move on with the work of the people.
|Gaetz:||We’re going to go and see if we can get inside. So let’s see if we can get in.|