Closed Door Hearings BAD NOW, Declares Party Of Benghazi/Travelgate/Fast & Furious
Banking on the public's collective amnesia about every single thing that happened in the past twenty years, the GOP is now screaming bloody murder about the closed door impeachment hearings being held in the House. Yesterday a group of Tea Party loons attempted to storm the hearing room during witness testimony like they were liberating the Bastille. And House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is moving to censure Adam Schiff for treasonous paraphrasing and running a "Soviet-style" investigation which will execute poor, innocent Donald Trump without due process or the right to confront his accuser.
Truly, if it wasn't for bad faith, Republicans would have no faith at all.
Tea Party -- sorry, "Freedom Caucus" -- chair Andy Biggs led the charge yesterday, attempting to barge into the conference room where House Foreign Affairs, Intel, and Oversight members were interviewing Mike Pompeo's former deputy Michael McKinley. Neither Biggs nor the rest of the Moron Squad -- Louie Gohmert, Debbie Lesko, and John Ratcliffe -- sit on any of those committees. And indeed the parliamentarian ruled that Matt Gaetz's freakishly big head had to go when he tried this same stunt on Monday. But these Gippers have a storyline to flog about sneaky Democrats holding illegitimate, secret hearings, and by Mammon they're going to do it.
Here on Planet Earth, closed-door witness interviews are absolutely bog standard procedure in the House. Aside from the 11-hour interrogation of Hillary Clinton, every single witness in the Benghazi investigation was interviewed in private. Darrell Issa held closed door hearings in the Fast and the Furious investigation, and was himself ejected from the Benghazi hearings by Trey Gowdy when he attempted an unauthorized entry. And Devin Nunes just presided over eleventy hundred hours of sealed hearings in the Russia investigation. But GO OFF, Louie!
"We're in there, we're told by security staff that they can't tell us who gave the order, but the order is that they can't allow elected members of Congress into a hearing. And they can't allow elected members of Congress to review the transcript of testimony before a congressional committee," Congressman Gohmert (R-Dumbfuckistan) told The Hill, implying that standard operating procedure amounts to a Deep State cabal.
Both the Clinton and Nixon impeachment investigations were conducted behind closed doors in the early phases, not just to promote actual fact-finding over camera-ready histrionics, but also to prevent witnesses from coordinating their stories. This rationale goes doubly for embargoing the transcripts, with pikers like Gordon Sondland, who is testifying as we type, throwing up five different trial balloons in the week before his appearance testing out which version of the "truth" the public -- particularly the portion of it that might be looking to patronize boutique hotels in Portland, Oregon -- will find least offensive.
To which Maryland's only Republican Congressman Andy Harris replied that he paid for dinner, and he expects those tarts on the Intel Committee to PUT OUT.
"I went in there today, they denied me reading the transcript. That's egregious - I sit on the Appropriations Committee. We appropriate money to pay for that," Harris told The Hill.
(Elijah Cummings is gone, and Andy Harris still walks the earth. The world is not a fair place.)
Then Andy Biggs lied some more about Democrats being lying leakers, while Republicans are saintly and discreet, whining, "I've got great friends that are sitting in there. You know what they tell me? I can't tell you. I can't tell you what's going on in there, but I could read you The New York Times what the Democrats leak." Which is exactly what Byron York said 24 hours before publishing this verbatim record of the interview with Kurt Volker last night.
Yessir, Republicans are flat out disgusted by this entire process. But not disgusted enough to boycott those hearings, where they're taking their time to interview each witness and get their points on record. Which is exactly as much process as is due, as the GOP knows damn well.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.