A newly released transcript of testimony from ex-Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs Fiona Hill in the House impeachment inquiry describes Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) barging into the closed-door hearing. According to Mediaite, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) noticed Gaetz in the room before the hearing officially began. “Mr. Gaetz, you’re not permitted to be in the room,” Schiff told him, according to the transcript. “I am on the Judiciary Committee,” Gaetz shot back, to which Schiff responded that the Judiciary Committee was not one of the three House committees permitted access to the impeachment inquiry’s closed-door hearings. “I thought the Judiciary Committee had jurisdiction over impeachment,” Gaetz said.
Schiff then interrupted Gaetz’s objections. “Mr. Gaetz, take your statement to the press. They do you no good here. So, please, absent yourself.” When Gaetz asked whether Schiff was going to “have someone remove (him) from the hearing,” Schiff said: “You’re going to remove yourself , Mr. Gaetz.” At one point, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) attempted to back Gaetz up, but Schiff said Gaetz’s “dilatory tactic” would burn Republicans’ allotted time to question Hill. After about an hour, the transcript reportedly indicated that Gaetz left the room. This comes after Gaetz and other Republicans also derailed the closed-door deposition of Pentagon official Laura Cooper last month.