Joaquin Castro: GOP Walk-in ‘Absolutely’ Was a Risk to National Security

On Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) discussed House Republicans forcing their way into the secured room where the House Intelligence Committee was conducting a deposition for their impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Castro said, “We were getting ready for the deposition to start and we had had a Democratic caucus meeting just before that of the Intelligence members. We came into the room. Everybody was seated, and just as the witness sat down you had — of course, you had Democratic members already seated, Republicans that were seated. There are about 25 or 30 of the Republican members. It looked to me like it was all the guys. There may have been a few women but I didn’t see them. There are three entrances in that room and they all came kind of storming in. Most of them were not members of the committees, I think, of jurisdiction. They came storming in the room and started disrupting the proceeding. Shortly after that, I didn’t see when the witness left but she left at some point. I think her lawyers escorted her out of the room, but it was a very tense several minutes while everybody was in that room. Quite honestly, it looked like a mob scene. It looked like kind of a mob party coming into that room.”

Blitzer asked, “Was it a risk to national security?”

Castro sad, “It absolutely is. The reason that that’s the case, this is a secured facility where a lot of classified information is kept. So whenever you’ve got a cell phone, particularly a member of Congress who’s often targeted by foreign governments, a foreign government with the right software or malware can basically take over your phone. So they can use your phone. They can listen in to what you’re saying. They can basically hijack the microphone in your phone. They can hijack the camera in your phone. So if you’ve got 15 or 20 cell phones in there because the members of Congress have taken those cell phones in, then potentially if any of those phones have been hijacked, the person who’s hijacked them can see whatever is in this facility. So that’s why I think for an hour or an hour and a half afterwards the security had to go and do a sweep of that secured facility. I don’t know that anybody’s ever brought 15 or 20 cell phones into that secured facility because there is all this classified information there.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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