Report: GOP Lawmaker Who Stormed Classified House Meeting Shared Audio Online
One of the Republican congressmen who stormed yesterday’s impeachment inquiry hearing made a phone call recording while inside the classified room and subsequently posted it to social media, according to Newsweek.
Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) was among more than two dozen GOP lawmakers who barged into the sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF) where the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees were awaiting testimony from Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.
Some of the lawmakers reportedly took their cell phones into the SCIF for the purpose of taking photos and recording video, defying the room’s ban on electronic devices. Mooney said in the recorded phone call that he was speaking on a “secure phone” because their personal phones had been confiscated.
Mooney claimed he and the others had breached security to enter the room because Democrats were not conducting their impeachment inquiry with transparency.
"I represent over 600,000 people in West Virginia who are not given a right to know what's even being said in these hearings is a brazenly attempt for no reason to impeach the president of the United States," he said. "I'm proud that over 30 members of Congress, including our whip, Steve Scalise, walked into that room and demanded transparency and justice for our president."
The Republicans’ stunt caused an hours-long delay in the proceeding, with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff immediately exiting the room with the witness.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) appeared to be leading the sit-in.
"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," Scalise said during a press conference staged outside the SCIF. "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."
Numerous individuals commented on social media that the lawmakers had clearly violated the law in entering the room, particularly with their electronic devices.
"This appears to be a congressman not only violating national security protocols by bring his phone into the SCIF, but broadcasting himself doing it," tweeted Pema Levy, a Mother Jones reporter.