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Hagedorn sought access to impeachment proceedings

Hagedorn's request to gain entry to the room was rebuffed. A video Hagedorn shared showed a security officer asking him to leave the area.

Rep. Jim Hagedorn mug
Jim Hagedorn
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GOP U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn tried to gain access to a closed-door impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, but he was not among Republican lawmakers who "stormed" the hearing room and delayed testimony for five hours.

Hagedorn's request to gain entry to the room was rebuffed. A video Hagedorn shared showed a security officer asking staff to leave the area. 

"Upon leaving the secure area, I was interviewed by national reporters and given the opportunity to highlight the unfair, unprecedented and overtly political Democratic impeachment process that Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Schiff are orchestrating," he said in a press statement.

But Hagedorn went down on his own to ask questions about the procedure, a spokesman said. 

"I just went in and asked what the procedures would be for members of Congress to be part of the proceedings or review the transcript, and was told at this point there would be no procedures apart from certain people on a few committees," Rep. Hagedorn said in a video. 

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Under procedures of the House, lawmakers are typically afforded the opportunity to see "what's going on in real time and we should have Republicans be able to call and examine witnesses, the President's counsel should be involved in these proceedings," Hagedorn said. 

"On top of all that, they said nothing of this is classified ... yet for whatever reason, people aren't allowed in to see what's happening in real time," Hagedorn said. 

The claim that Republicans are being shut out of the process is undercut by the fact that 100 members from both parties are involved in the hearings. The House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees are involved in the impeachment inquiry. 

The GOP "storming" of the Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility room was denounced by Democrats as a stunt. A closed deposition as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump was to be held in the room.

The maneuver came a day after Bill Taylor, acting ambassador to the Ukraine, testified under oath that the White House had threatened to withhold military aid unless the Ukrainian government announced an investigation for Trump's political benefit. 

The testimony undermined Trump’s claims of his "perfect" dealings with Ukraine and appeared to push Republican lawmakers into a more aggressive stance as they sought to defend the president from his greatest legal and political threat yet.

"This is a messy moment, no doubt," said Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican from Nebraska. "But at the same time, does it rise to a level of criminality — impeachment of a president? Doesn’t look that way to me, and the process, by the way, is very unfair. And this is what is undermining the credibility of the House of Representatives."

Other Republicans highlighted the White House’s difficulty in keeping the party in line as more damaging evidence emerges from the impeachment proceedings.

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Senate Majority Whip John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, also complained about the process, but told reporters Wednesday that Taylor's testimony was not positive for the Trump administration.

The Washington Post contributed to this article. 

Related Topics: JIM HAGEDORN
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