Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez weighed in on the chaotic scene House Republicans created on Wednesday when about two dozen of them barged into the closed-door testimony of Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Laura Cooper, delaying the deposition by about five hours. Republicans have been vocal in their opposition to the process in which Democrats are going about the impeachment inquiry, a process the GOP itself created in 2015 when it was the majority party. One of the main gripes for Republicans is that they aren’t getting equal access to the depositions, even though there are Republicans present in every deposition and they split time with Democrats for questioning. That grievance, though unfounded, was one of the reasons for interrupting the deposition. It’s also because of that grievance that Ocasio-Cortez found the whole situation funny.
“I remember seeing, you know, that sea of men banging outside of House Intelligence thinking that it was quite funny because many of them are my colleagues on the House Oversight Committee and have access to those depositions, AOC said Thursday on The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell. “So they were pretending that they weren’t able to be in these depositions like many members of Congress, Republican and Democrat alike, in order to create a spectacle.”
Ocasio-Cortez went on to say storming the hearing room was just an attempt on the part of Republicans to distract from the multiple testimonies..
“The reason they were doing that is because they knew exactly what was going on inside,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “They know exactly what this testimony and what these depositions are adding up to, and that, frankly, it’s revealing a very disturbing sequence of events and a very likely abuse of power.”
It wasn’t all that long ago that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was a congressman at the time, referred to closed-door hearings as “much more effective” than public ones, and former Republican congressman Trey Gowdy said public hearings are “utterly useless,” yet Republicans in the House and Senate are fighting for all depositions to be made public, and Ocasio-Cortez believes there are nefarious motives behind the sudden change of heart.
“Perhaps one of the reasons they’re fighting for all of this testimony to be public,” Ocasio-Cortez said, “is so that folks could potentially line up their depositions.”
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