President Donald Trump was reportedly aware that House Republicans were going to obstruct impeachment hearings by storming a secure conference room.
Republicans led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida on Wednesday morning barged in to the secure room — known as a SCIF — while Democrats were scheduled to question Pentagon official Laura Cooper. But the hearing had to be halted because of the interruption.
Bloomberg later reported that Trump was aware of the stunt ahead of time.
Trump had advance knowledge and supported a protest by Republicans who told him they planned to barge into a secure hearing room on Capitol Hill where Democrats are holding impeachment testimonies, according to four people familiar with the matter.
Trump on Tuesday met with about 30 House Republicans at the White House to talk about the situation in Syria and the impeachment inquiry. During a nearly two-hour meeting, which focused mostly on the impeachment inquiry, lawmakers shared their plans to storm into the secure room, the people said. Trump supported the action, saying he wanted the transcripts released because they will exonerate him, the people said.
About two dozen GOP House members occupied the secure hearing room early Wednesday, delaying a scheduled deposition.
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WATCH: here's the video of when 2 dozen GOP members, led by @mattgaetz entered the secure hearing room (SCIF) to interrupt witness testimony in the #ImpeachmentInquiry as they demand access, despite not being committee members. They're complaining it's a "Soviet-style process". pic.twitter.com/8KddYz3r9D
— Scott Thuman (@ScottThuman) October 23, 2019