House Freedom Caucus Chair Andy Biggs and a handful of other Republican lawmakers were not allowed in to the secure room where the impeachment inquiry has been underway on Wednesday.
They demanded to see the transcript of former Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker’s testimony from last week and for access to the closed-door hearings.
Currently, lawmakers are meeting with Michael McKinley, a former State Department advisor for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Speaking to reporters outside the room, Republicans were furious at being blocked and said there was confusion on who made that decision.
“This is an insane asylum and the inmates are running it,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican.
Republicans have been slamming the ongoing impeachment inquiry process as an unfair “sham” and derided it for relying thus far on closed-door sessions.
“No transparency or accountability for the American people in this process,” Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko tweeted.
At a press conference on Tuesday, House Intelligence Chairman Adam B. Schiff promised to release the transcripts of these closed-door meetings and ultimately move to open hearings, but did not give a timeline of when that could happen.
On Monday, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz was ejected from a hearing involving Fiona Hill, a former White House expert on Russia, because he was not a member of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, or Oversight Committees.
There are Republican members of those three committees, which are spearheading the Ukraine investigation, including Reps. Jim Jordan, Lee Zeldin and Mark Meadows, who have been part of the meetings during recess.
However, Mr. Biggs and his fellow lawmakers argued other members should have access as well because they can otherwise only get information from the press.
“I have a right to be there,” he argued. “This is a secret, secret proceeding. And the only information that you’re getting in there is coming from the leaks from the Democrats.”
He argued that, as a member of the Judiciary Committee which oversees impeachment, he should have been allowed to be part of the process.
Mr. Biggs is also leading the Republican charge and censure House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff. His resolution has more than 130 cosponsors, and it was formally introduced on the floor Wednesday as Republicans aim to force a vote on it.
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer defended Mr. Schiff and dismissed the censure resolution as a transparent attempt to “distract from the President’s damning abuse of power.”
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