Top GOP reps. call on Schiff to summon whistleblower to testify publicly

Top GOP reps. call on Schiff to summon whistleblower to testify publicly

As the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump escalates on Capitol Hill, lawmakers are constantly looking at documents and interviewing key witnesses behind closed doors in a congressional secure room, or "SCIF".

The senator added that the impeachment inquiry isn't only partisan, but "dangerous". After a delay of around four hours, Cooper began her testimony.

Taylor also described two distinct channels he said emerged for US policymaking toward Ukraine under Trump - one overseen by the diplomatic establishment and another overseen by the president's personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, with assistance from several Trump appointees.

He even noted this: "At one point, the Defense Department was asked to perform an analysis of the effectiveness of the assistance".

McConnell has been critical of the House impeachment inquiry process, saying it lacks transparency amid closed-door testimonies from former and current White House officials.

"These Senate Republicans ... are going to be pinned down to a yes-no answer", Murphy said.

Elliot Mincberg, a senior fellow and counsel at People for the American Way, called Wednesday's actions a "diversionary tactic". They have a right to know.

The Republicans, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, spoke to reporters before attempting to rush through the doors.

Forty-six House Republicans serve on the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees leading the impeachment probe, or roughly 1-in-4 members of the House GOP caucus. The inquiry is being conducted in a secure room used to brief lawmakers about confidential or sensitive material.

"It's like if the cops called you in about a murder and said, 'Did you dump the body in Central Park?' and you went 'Of course I did, that's where I dump all my bodies!'" joked Meyers. The lawmakers, nearly all Republicans, stretched out around her at a table shaped like a "U" for the rare chance to speak on-camera about something other than impeachment.

In an initial letter Wednesday to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Republican lawmakers Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, and Michael McCaul pushed for the whistleblower to come out of hiding so that his or her "sources and credibility" can be "fully assessed". "But they won't be successful".

You can read Graham's full resolution against the Democrats here.

Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, said Democrats are running a "Soviet-style process" that should "not be allowed in the United States of America". "Watch out for them, they are human scum!"

Trump has urged Republicans to "get tougher and fight" against his impeachment.

By noon local time, Bloomberg had reported that President Trump had advanced knowledge of the lawmakers' plans to storm the secured area and had voiced support for interrupting Cooper's testimony.

The move, which Democrats branded a "stunt", delayed the deposition of Laura Cooper, a deputy assistant secretary of defence responsible for Ukraine policy.

Trump had withheld $391 million in security aid to Ukraine passed by Congress to help counter Russia-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country.

"Literally some of them were just screaming about the president and what we're doing to him and that we have nothing and just all things that were supportive of the president", Wasserman Schultz said.

Mr Taylor testified that Mr Trump had made the release of military aid to Ukraine conditional on a pledge that his political rival, Joe Biden, would be investigated, and said relations with Ukraine had been "fundamentally undermined" as a result.

So far, few Republicans have appeared inclined toward Trump's removal, though there have been some cracks in their support. "We have the best evidence of that".

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