While the U.S. government faces the most serious challenge in history to its democratic institutions, it’s troubling that one of the major political parties seeks to threaten the process for protecting those institutions.
Last week GOP members of Congress “stormed” a secure deposition room used in the impeachment inquiry and delayed the hearing by five hours, arguing the hearings were not being held in public and implying they exclude Republicans.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Yet many GOP members allow the lie to fester and be repeated in partisan broadcast outlets such as “The Rush Limbaugh Show.”
The impeachment inquiry involves members from both parties who are on House intelligence, foreign affairs or oversight committees. There are a total of 47 Republicans on those committees who have been in the hearings and who have been allowed to ask questions, according to a report by fact-checking organization Politifact.
GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, of Florida, who organized the storming of the committee against the rules, has not been allowed to attend the hearings because he is not a member of any of the committees. Another GOP member of the committee, Ted Yoho of Florida, has chosen not to attend the hearings, according to Politifact.
Limbaugh took to the airwaves last week saying Republicans had been excluded from the committees, and Politifact determined his statement to be false.
First District Congressman Jim Hagedorn, of Blue Earth, was part of the Republican contingent who sought access to the hearing but did not storm the secure room like the others. He said he considers the hearings unfair partisan attacks on the president.
The GOP strategy of attacking the process, political experts say, is because the substance of the hearings is becoming so detrimental to President Donald Trump.
Decorated war hero after hero who were working for Trump’s State Department continue to testify that Trump created a quid pro quo and acted outside the interest of the United States in withholding military aid from Ukraine in exchange for Ukrainians to announce they were investigating Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
With a vote Thursday to open the hearings now that the “grand jury” type investigating is coming to a close, the GOP will also no longer have a process excuse.
Facts area stubborn things as President Trump and his supporters will soon learn.