Cooper Teams Up With Dem to Rip GOP Calls for Transparency in Impeachment

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Calling for transparency in the impeachment investigation of President Trump, several House Republicans stormed the conference room being used for the hearing and staged an old-fashion sit-in. Transparency was apparently something only demanded of Republicans because the liberal media spent Wednesday decrying the GOP tactic. CNN host Anderson Cooper was so peeved by the move that he began that night’s AC360 by teaming up with a Democrat in the room to rip the Republican effort.

“Good evening, we begin the program last night saying that yesterday could prove to be one of the most consequential days in Donald Trump as presidency. Well, today could prove to be one of the weirdest,” he quipped. Whining:

[A]bout two dozen conservative Republican lawmakers decided to engage in a publicity stunt storming the secure conference room, … Some of them held up their phones to record their storming of a secure room and held up proceedings for about five hours demanding to witness the closed-door testimony complaining loudly about due process and the way the hearings are being run.

It’s interesting what CNN was willing to denounce as a publicity stunt because they fell in love with congressional sit-ins when Democrats were obstructing business for gun control. “Rep. John Lewis, who launched the sit-in Wednesday morning that eventually drew 170 lawmakers, lit up social media, and infuriated House Republicans -- but spurred no legislative action -- said the fight was not over,” CNN reported in 2016. And they were more than willing link that sit-in to the sit-ins of the civil rights era.

But on Wednesday, Cooper had no problem showing off his discontent for the Republican protest:

COOPER: Now, by the way, it's a security violation to bring phones in a secure room. But you know, what, when you're really desperate for attention and a member of Congress apparently security regulations don't apply.

 

 

A short time later, Cooper brought on Oversight Committee member Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) to commiserate about the Republicans’ actions that morning. “Can you explain what it was like in the room? I mean, did they just barge into the room? Were some of them yelling? I read some report that Louie Gohmert, which obviously would be any surprise,” Cooper snidely asked.

After unironically suggesting Republicans wanted “mob” rule, Khanna claimed Republican lawmakers left garbage thrown around the room:

KHANNA: They barged in. Mel Brooks [sic] was outside yelling into the cameras. The barged into the room and then later on there were pizza boxes just thrown all over the SCIF. I mean, they didn’t even clean up.

COOPER: Wait. They brought pizza with them.

KHANNA: There were pizza boxes. I mean, I was in and out but I went the later on with the deposition and there were pizza boxes there -- lying there that had eaten pizza.

Cooper then asked his guest about the House sergeant-at-arms handing down some stiff consequences against the Republicans who took part in the protest.

Funny enough, Khanna’s response seemed to implicate himself. “Everyone knows this, you are not allowed to take any electronic device, you’re not allowed to comment about anything that’s said there,” he explained.

Um, didn’t Khanna just comment about something that happened and was said in the secure conference room, which was against the rules? Of course, Cooper didn’t have anything to say about that. After all, they’re on the same side.

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The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360
October 23, 2019
8:00:23 p.m. Eastern

ANDERSON COOPER: Good evening, we begin the program last night saying that yesterday could prove to be one of the most consequential days in Donald Trump as presidency. Well, today could prove to be one of the weirdest. It’s because the day after the diplomat and five decades long public servant, William Taylor laid out the Ukraine quid pro quo to House impeachment committee members, about two dozen conservative Republican lawmakers decided to engage in a publicity stunt storming the secure conference room, or SCIF, where a senior Pentagon official, deputy assistant defense secretary Laura Cooper was about to testify to both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.

Some of them held up their phones to record their storming of a secure room and held up proceedings for about five hours demanding to witness the closed-door testimony complaining loudly about due process and the way the hearings are being run.

But keeping them honest, there are several reasons why their complaints simply do not add up. For one, it's not like Republicans are being locked out. As long as they're members of the appropriate three committees, this is not a Democratic star chamber. There are plenty of Republicans in the room listening to all this testimony. Nor are closed door proceedings anything new back when Republicans controlled the House portions of the Benghazi hearings were conducted that way.

(…)

COOPER: Now, by the way, it's a security violation to bring phones in a secure room. But you know, what, when you're really desperate for attention and a member of Congress apparently security regulations don't apply.

(…)

8:05:11 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: Cooper only testified, I think, for three and a half hours. A lot of the other witnesses have obviously sat for much longer. Did the five-hour delay because of this strange publicity stunt by some Republicans, did that impact the length of her testimony? I mean, were you able to get through everything you wanted to find out from her?

REP. RO KHANNA (D-CA): We got through everything. But I want to focus on this publicity stunt. It was more than a publicity stunt. I mean, in this country we have a rule of law not rule by mob. And no one can go in a city council meeting and just obstruct the proceedings. Nobody can go to a school board meeting, if they don’t like it, and obstruct the proceedings, or obstruct the proceedings in court.

I don't understand why being a member of Congress gives you a right to obstruct the rule of law. And as you pointed out, you know, in Benghazi, there were these depositions in the SCIF, the Democrats participated. We thought it was total bogus, the investigation against Hillary Clinton but not a single Democrat was thinking of disrupting the proceedings. So, this is contrary to everything the country stands for to interrupt proceedings when the Republicans have every due process right there.

COOPER: Can you explain what it was like in the room? I mean, did they just barge into the room? Were some of them yelling? I read some report that Louie Gohmert, which obviously would be any surprise.

KHANNA: They barged in. Mel Brooks [sic] was outside yelling into the cameras. The barged into the room and then later on there were pizza boxes just thrown all over the SCIF. I mean, they didn’t even clean up.

COOPER: Wait. They brought pizza with them.

KHANNA: There were pizza boxes. I mean, I was in and out but I went the later on with the deposition and there were pizza boxes there -- lying there that had eaten pizza.

I mean, think about this. You know, if someone gets a traffic ticket imagine -- and you think it's totally unjustified traffic ticket, the cop was wrong. Imagine what would happen if you went to traffic court and you just went and created a parade, you started yelling. And you said, “this proceeding is ridiculous. I don't have enough rights.” I mean, you'd be locked up.

I guess the question is what makes someone who is a member of Congress think that the rules don't apply to them, that they can just act whatever way they want?

COOPER: I mean, it's -- I guess maybe if the president tells you, “yeah that's a great idea, go ahead and do it.” I mean, it's a little bit like in a jury if friends and acolytes of the defendant would feel free to storm the jury room and, you know, start trying to defend the defendant.

I mean, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, I know, has sent a letter to the sergeant at arms asking him to, quote, “take action” against the Republicans who breached the SCIF. He doesn’t specify what that should look like. But, I mean, some of these folks sent out the videos of themselves violating federal law. Do you think action should be taken?

KHANNA: There should be consequences. I mean, these are the places where out most sensitive classified information is shared. No one -- Everyone knows this, you are not allowed to take any electronic device, you’re not allowed to comment about anything that’s said there. And yet, you have people there taking phones tweeting out about this. It’s making a mockery of the process. And it's not just a mockery of the rule of law.

(…)

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