GOP congressman warns there are more impeachment stunts to come


Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) told a local radio host that Republicans may be planning more actions to derail the House impeachment process.

Hours after he stormed a secure room with fellow Republicans to disrupt an impeachment inquiry hearing, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) defended the action and told a local radio host to expect more antics, according to audio unearthed this week.

"Is there more that can be done to slow this thing down, or at least draw more attention to it?" Byrne was asked by the eponymous host of WVNN's Jeff Poor Show on Tuesday, Oct. 23. "What do you think is the next play?"

"Well, I'm gonna be careful about what I say because I don't want to telegraph what we're going to do, but I don't think we've seen the end of this," Byrne said, adding, "I think there's more to come, and there needs to be more to come."

The actions by Byrne and his colleagues were not only against House rules, but they also may have endangered national security.

Earlier that day, Byrne and a group of about 40 Republicans had entered a secure room, or SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) in the basement of the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the testimony of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper, who was preparing to discuss the Trump administration's decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine.

The hearing was part of the larger House impeachment inquiry into Trump's actions with regard to the country, specifically his efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his 2020 political rival, Joe Biden.

Many of the Republicans who entered the SCIF that day were carrying cell phones, which are not allowed in the secure room where the testimony was taking place. Doing so likely constituted a breach of national security, according to experts.

"The stupidest thing someone can do is bring an electronic device [into a SCIF]," Neal Katyal, former acting solicitor general, tweeted after the stunt. "You would lose your security clearance +may even face criminal prosecution. If these reports are accurate, those remedies should be looked at."

Further, the House parliamentarian stated that those who stormed into the room broke House rules, since many were not on the committees holding the hearing.

It is unclear if Republican lawmakers are indeed planning any similar stunts in the future, as Byrne suggested Tuesday, or whether those antics might also pose additional risks to national security.

During the same interview, Byrne also expressed displeasure at the impeachment process currently being led by House Democrats.

"This process is inappropriate," Byrne said. "They should have passed a resolution for the House. They should have put the process and the rules of the process in it."

On Thursday, the House voted on a resolution setting out rules and procedures for the impeachment process.

The resolution passed. Byrne, and all Republicans present, voted against it.

Byrne's full interview on the "Jeff Poor Show" is available below.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.