Notably, according to a list provided by Gaetz's office of the Republicans who RSVP'd to join the protest, 12 of them are members of the Oversight or Foreign Affairs committees — including Rep. Jim Jordan, the ranking member on the Oversight Committee — meaning they have been allowed to sit in on all depositions held in the SCIF in recent weeks. A spokesperson for Rep. Ken Buck, who is on the list and serves on the Foreign Affairs Committee, however, later clarified that he did not attend, though he tweeted in support.
Rep. Fred Keller, an Oversight member who joined the protest, "was acting in solidarity with those members of Congress who are not allowed in the hearings, to review testimony, or read transcripts of this secret inquiry. ... [He] believes the way this inquiry is being conducted is unfair and it needs to stop," according to a spokesperson.
President Donald Trump knew in advance that Republicans planned to occupy the space and supported their plan, “saying he wanted the transcripts released because they will exonerate him,” Bloomberg reported, citing four sources familiar with the conversation.
The members went into the SCIF at about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, passing Capitol Police officers who guard the door. Some of the members brought in cellphones (which are not allowed in the secure space). Most of them emerged around 2:15 p.m. ahead of a scheduled House vote, but Gaetz said as he left that several Republicans were still inside. By about 3 p.m., the Republicans were gone.
Asked if the group would continue to storm the private depositions, Gaetz wouldn’t say, but said they would “continue to advocate for transparency.”
Here's the extra-stupid part:
The protest Wednesday is the latest in a line of complaints from GOP lawmakers, who have argued that they are being cut out of the impeachment inquiry and that Democrats are holding hearings in secret. That’s not the case.
While the hearings have not been public, they have not been “secret.” Members of both parties on the committees holding the hearings — Oversight, Intelligence, and Foreign Affairs — have been able to attend the depositions and ask questions.
The Republicans in the depositions include Mark Meadows and Devin Nunes. In fact, 42 Republicans are authorized to hear every single word of the depositions and ask questions.