A group of House Republicans engaged in the stunt brought cellphones into a secure area where electronics are banned for security purposes — with Trump's approval.
The House Republican stunt to storm a secure area where an impeachment deposition was taking place Wednesday wasn't just a distraction — it was also a national security risk.
Many of the GOP members of Congress who broke into the deposition were carrying electronic devices that are strictly prohibited in the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) where the deposition was taking place. Cellphones are banned in the SCIF because there is often classified information in the room, and cellphones can be hacked by hostile actors who want that classified information.
"I held a [Top Secret security clearance] for a decade. You know what literally rule number one was? No cell phones in a SCIF," Naveed Jamali, a national security expert, tweeted. "Anything that transmits and can record video or audio is specifically forbidden. If you break these rules you might as well drop the 'S' (secure) in SCIF."
Mieke Eoyang, a former staff director on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that uses the SCIF, Tweeted a detailed thread on Twitter laying out the dangers of bringing cellphones into the secure facility.
"Bringing electronic devices into a SCIF, and this SCIF in particular is *very* problematic, especially when done by members of Congress. Because Members of Congress (and their electronic devices) are high-value targets for compromise by foreign intelligence services," Eoyang tweeted.
Former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said that bringing an electronic device into the SCIF could cost you your security clearance.
"I’ve been in SCIFs a lot," Katyal tweeted. "The stupidest thing someone can do is bring an electronic device. You would lose your security clearance +may even face criminal prosecution. If these reports are accurate, those remedies should be looked at. Foreign govts want to target SCIF all the time."
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden called the GOP members bringing cellphones into the SCIF a "real problem."
Video posted by the Washington Examiner on Twitter clearly shows Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) holding up his cellphone while walking into the SCIF, likely video taping the stunt.
Developing: House GOP members storm a secure hearing room to interrupt witness testimony in the impeachment inquiry into @realDonaldTrump @RepMattGaetz led the charge. https://t.co/mWBdJSGZdh pic.twitter.com/Lj1P7mSnVb
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 23, 2019
The stunt forced a sweep of the SCIF to ensure that security wasn't breached, according to Politico's Andrew Desiderio.
Republicans don't seem phased by their endangering of national security.
They're holding a pizza party in the SCIF as they try to delay interviews in the impeachment hearing.
In fact, Bloomberg News reported that Donald Trump had advance knowledge of the protest, and was supportive of the stunt that endangered national security.
This comes after a series of stories broke that shows Trump clearly tried to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Bidens — a corrupt use of the office of the presidency for personal gain.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.