A group of Republican lawmakers on Wednesday barged into the closed-door deposition held in a House Intelligence Committee secure meeting room to make a point about the Democratic-headed impeachment probe into President Donald Trump. And according to one political commentator, it was a move akin to the methods of the Ku Klux Klan.
The action was led by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, was gathered with dozens of fellow Republican colleagues who collectively demanded to see where Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Laura Cooper was testifying in the impeachment inquiry, CNN reported.
Cooper, who is the Pentagon’s top official on Ukraine, was delayed in testifying for five hours because of the incident.
“If behind those doors they intend to overturn the results of an American presidential election, we want to know what’s going on,” Florida Rep. Gaetz said in remarks made in the U.S. Capitol’s basement explaining why he made the move. This despite Talking Points Memo reporting it is standard to have closed-door testimonies during such investigations.
The impeachment inquiry into Trump stems from a July phone call he had with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in which he urged the foreign leader to look into his political rival, Democratic 2020 candidate Joe Biden, and Biden’s son, Hunter. The latter once had business interests in Ukraine as he formerly served on the corporate board of an energy company there.
Upon remarking on the Gaetz-led storming of Capitol Hill, CNN commentator Keith Boykin noted the behavior recalled that of the KKK.
“This is a disgraceful stunt, “the former White House aide to President Bill Clinton said on Thursday’s episode of “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” “This looked like a Klan group that had assembled outside of a jail trying to get the sheriff to let them in so they could deliver their own justice against somebody who’s inside. It’s not a good look for our democracy, it’s not a good look for the Republican Party.”
Boykin added that 47 Republican representatives “are apparently already on these committees that are in on this investigation out of a 197 total House Republicans.”
“They’re creating these political stunts in order to throw off the attention,” he says. “They’re not focused on the issue of why Trump is being impeached, they’re focused on how they can complain about the process.”
When host Jake Tapper recalled Trump’s use of the word“lynching” in connection to the probe and said the “Klan” reference “was a little strong,” Boykin stood his ground.
“I used it purposefully because there’s a visual problem too,” he replies. “They have this group of almost all-white men going in defense of a white man, who is already, I think by most accounts, a racist, instead of dealing with the issue of how this person is abusing his powers as president of the United States.”
Boykin said further on Twitter, “Trump is a white man with a long history of racism who compared the lawful process of impeachment to a lynching. I am a black man who compared a group of white men unlawfully entering government property with a group of white men unlawfully entering government property.”
In response, several Twitter users took issue with Boykin.
“It was a racist remark calling them a ‘Klan group’ You know it! I know it! America knows it! These people stood up to injustice and I applaud their movement to demand transparency for the American people.”
“That guy is stupid. Does anyone recognize how everything is racial. Im shocked that people actually go through life thinking this way.”
Others had Boykin’s back.
“Thank you @keithboykin, TRUTH WAS SPOKEN TO THE NATION!! I’m so glad you refused to back down, but gave them insight as to why you spoke from the heart and head.”
“It was definitely a display of white privilege and I feel a fair comparison. If they had chanted Democrats will not replace us, that would have cemented it.”