House Homeland Security Chair Demands Sergeant at Arms ‘Take Action’ Against Republicans Who Stormed Impeachment Hearing

1791
PBS NewsHour / YouTube Nielsen 39 failed 39 as head 1571916546.jpg...
PBS NewsHour / YouTube

Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, demanded on Wednesday that the chamber’s sergeant at arms “take action” against the dozens of Republican lawmakers who stormed a secure impeachment hearing room with their cellphones, a brazen violation of House rules.

In a letter (pdf) to House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving, the chamber’s chief law enforcement official, Thompson called Republicans’ coordinated attempt to disrupt House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry “a blatant breach of security” that “violates the oath of all members of Congress sign to gain access to classified information” and “contravenes security controls established by the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency for the protection of classified information.”

“This unprecedented breach of security raises serious concerns for committee chairmen, including me, responsible for maintaining SCIFs [Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities],” Thompson wrote. “As such, I am requesting you take action with respect to the members involved in the breach.”

“More broadly,” Thompson added, “I urge you to take House-wide action to remind all members about the dangers of such reckless action and the potential national security risks of such behavior.”

Thompson’s letter came after the GOP’s disruption effort was finally tamped down. All told, the Republican stunt delayed by five hours the testimony of Pentagon official Laura Cooper, a witness in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

As Buzzfeed reported, a dozen of the House Republicans who took part in Wednesday’s stunt are members of the House Intelligence, Judiciary, or Foreign Affairs Committees, meaning they already had access to the impeachment hearing that they decried as overly secretive.

Journalist Marcy Wheeler compiled a list of the more than 40 Republican lawmakers who took part in the security violation.

On top of storming a secure room with their electronic devices, numerous Republican lawmakers—including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who led the group—tweeted updates from inside the SCIF, a significant breach of House security protocol.

The lawmakers later claimed the tweets were sent by staff.

“Since many of the flash mob already sat on the committees, they *knew* how serious a breach it was to bring devices into SCIF and did it anyways,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) tweeted late Wednesday. “Our country is a game to them. Remember that the next time they use ‘national security’ as an excuse for their bad ideas.”

Thank you to all who already support our work since we could not exist without your generosity. If you have not already, please consider supporting us on Patreon to ensure we can continue bringing you the best of independent journalism.

Leave a Comment

6 Comments on "House Homeland Security Chair Demands Sergeant at Arms ‘Take Action’ Against Republicans Who Stormed Impeachment Hearing"

avatar
newest oldest most voted
Rutokin
Guest
Rutokin

They all need to be severely reprimanded, no matter who they are national security is at stake, if the Democratic Party pulled a stunt like that republitards heads would be spinning so fast to put someone’s head on a spike,I mean WTF

John Howard
Guest
John Howard
This was not just a ‘stunt’ by Gaetz and his fellow Republican stormtroopers; it was deliberate and serious criminal witness intimidation and it is regrettable that Bennie Thompson did not strongly stress this in his letter to the Sergeant At Arms. It is also no surprise that this attempt to intimidate witnesses occurred the day after Ambassador William Taylor’s devastating testimony, that utterly destroyed Trump, Giuliani, Pompeo and, indeed, all the rest of those who were involved in the treasonous and criminal Ukraine plot, and on the day that Pentagon official, Laura Cooper, was scheduled to give testimony that could… Read more »
Neverevertrumper
Guest
Neverevertrumper

If I went with friends and did the exact same conduct what would happen to me? That IS what should happen to these people-If MAXIMUM consequences do NOT happen it will continue only worse…what the fuck is wrong with whoever is in charge of this security? This cannot be overlooked, this is the most thuggish RECKLESS ACT SO FAR and I resent the hell out of the miserable SOBS in charge for allowing it to occur for hours on end….I am ashamed of these people and ashamed of America

Alfred Higgins
Guest
Alfred Higgins

High time to revoke security clearances for all of the players in this little clown circus side show (as well as censure or expel, and file criminal charges).

chris whitley
Guest
chris whitley

If they don’t do anything to these morons for deliberately causing a breach of security they are wimps and fools. Why do you have rules if you are going to repeatedly let people abuse them. Grow some hair on your ass and censure them. They censored Adam Schiff first for doing his job. Get your head out and of your ass and nail them.

Independent
Guest
Independent

These old white men appear to be having a flash back to their frat days when they did whatever they wanted to do (drink, rape, pillage and plunder) without consequences. They probably have done this behavior all their lives. Well now they have broken their oaths and should be removed from office. If they get away with this who knows what donnie will have them do next. He talks about a witch hunt. Well he is a warlock and this is his coven. ENOUGH