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House Republicans Disrupt Closed-Door Session During Impeachment Inquiry Proceedings

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

On Capitol Hill today, a group of House Republicans disrupted a secure committee room...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: We're going to go and see if we can get inside. So let's see if we can get in.

CHANG: ...Upending a closed-door deposition of a top Pentagon official in the House impeachment inquiry.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: The people of Kansas are sick and tired of this impeachment.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: If you're an American, you have to be outraged by what is going on...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: As the good book says, those things done in secret are from darkness.

CHANG: Now, none of these lawmakers who barged in sit on the three committees leading the investigation. That is why they were not allowed in. And that is why they forced the deposition to be delayed. More on that in a moment.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The ruckus underscores the weight of a veteran diplomat's testimony yesterday, testimony that Democrats called disturbing. Here's California Representative Eric Swalwell. He does sit on the Intelligence Committee.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ERIC SWALWELL: The tactics are a response to just damaging and pulverizing testimony yesterday. But they will not stop us in pursuing the truth.

CORNISH: William Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, painted a detailed picture of what he said was a quid pro quo. Taylor told lawmakers that he was in charge of carrying out the official U.S. policy toward Ukraine, but he discovered that a small group of President Trump's allies, including his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was carrying out another foreign policy toward Ukraine.

CHANG: He said it was a foreign policy that made an Oval Office meeting and millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Ukraine contingent on the Ukrainian president announcing investigations that could help President Trump politically. Those investigations, Taylor said, were specifically focused on looking into the 2016 election and a company called Burisma. That's the Ukrainian gas company where Joe Biden's son, Hunter, sat on the board. Taylor even said he was told, quote, "everything was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance." [POST BROADCAST CORRECTION: We incorrectly say in this report that the lawmakers who disrupted proceedings are not members of the committees overseeing the impeachment inquiry. Some of them are.] Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Corrected: October 24, 2019 at 12:00 AM EDT
We incorrectly say in this report that the lawmakers who disrupted proceedings are not members of the committees overseeing the impeachment inquiry. Some of them are.