A GOP lawmaker crashed Fiona Hill's impeachment deposition and was immediately booted out, newly released transcript shows

Alex Wong/Getty ImagesRep. Matt Gaetz.
  • A newly released transcript of the October 14 deposition of Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council official, shows the dramatic scene when Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida tried to crash the hearing.
  • Gaetz argued he should be present at the deposition by virtue of his membership on the House Judiciary Committee. But Rep. Adam Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman, had no patience for his antics.
  • “Mr. Gaetz, take your statement to the press. They do you no good here. So please, absent yourself,” Schiff said.
  • A week later, a group of about 30 House Republicans barged into a secure room where three committees were trying to depose a Pentagon official.
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A newly released transcript of the October 14 deposition of Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council official, shows the dramatic scene when Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida tried to crash the hearing and was booted out of the room by Rep. Adam Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman.

Hill was deposed as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump being spearheaded by the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Government Reform committees.

The transcript includes the acrimonious exchange between Gaetz, who argued he should be present at the deposition by virtue of his membership on the House Judiciary Committee – which is not one of the three committees pursuing the inquiry – and Schiff, who had no patience for his antics.

A week later, a group of about 30 House Republicans barged into a secure room where the three committees were attempting to depose a Pentagon official.

The group caused a scene in the basement of the Capitol by storming in and occupying the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility that the committees were using to depose Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defence. The GOP lawmakers documented the incursion on social media and even ordered pizza and other food to the room.

The representatives’ stunt was not perceived as a show of resistance but widely mocked and denounced as a publicity stunt that compromised national security and revealed hypocrisy. Many brought their phones into the room to live-tweet or livestream the stampede, a serious breach of protocol that poses national security and cybersecurity risks, intelligence veterans said.

After the incursion, Capitol Police had to sweep the room for electronic devices, and the sergeant at arms was even involved.

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