Secret Impeachment: Adam Schiff Threatens Ethics Complaints Against Republicans

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff of Calif., speaks to the media as he returns to a closed door meeting where Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, testifies as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. …
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) reportedly threatened to file ethics complaints against House Republicans who stormed the hearing room where a Defense Department official was testifying as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Laura Cooper, a senior official who oversees Ukraine policy, arrived Wednesday morning on Capitol Hill to appear before the House panels conducting the investigation. Shortly afterward, more than two dozen Republican House members held a news conference outside the secure room in the Capitol where the deposition was taking place.

The Republicans decried that the deposition was happening behind closed doors and said Americans should be able to read the transcripts of any interviews being conducted as part of impeachment.

Republicans then walked into the meeting unannounced, and the deposition was put on hold. The two sides were trying to resolve the standoff, Republicans who left the meeting said.

According to House Republican lawmakers, the move prompted Schiff to threaten them with ethics complaints.

“Reporting from Adam Schiff’s secret chamber,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) tweeted. “Chairman Schiff threatened to file ethics complaints against remaining Republican members – not clear what exactly he would file or cite.”

“Adam Schiff just SHUT DOWN his secret underground impeachment hearing after I led a group of Republicans into the room. Now he’s threatening me with an Ethics complaint!” Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) wrote on Twitter.

Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) said: “Adam Schiff, clearly peeved that he will no longer be able to hide his impeachment sham, is threatening ethics punishment for all of us.”

House Republicans’ attempt to enter the hearing followed a press conference led by Rep. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-AL) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in which 30 lawmakers demanded transparency in the impeachment process from House Democrats.

Although House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) did not attend the press conference, a spokesperson for the top Republican expressed support for it.

“Each member of Congress represents nearly 710,000 Americans,” said McCarthy spokesman Matt Sparks. “It is their duty and responsibility to see and understand all of the documents that Democrats are referring to in their attempt to remove a duly elected President from office. The current structure is unprecedented, unfair, and undemocratic. Our members are demanding fairness.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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