House Republicans who stormed secure area hoped to get arrested to spark sympathy

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The GOP lawmakers involved in the stunt thought it would make Democrats look bad.

The Republican lawmakers who stormed a secure area on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to disrupt impeachment inquiry proceedings did so with the intent of getting arrested — a plot they hoped would garner sympathy and make Democratic lawmakers look bad, Fox News reported.

"Fox is told there was never any chance [members] who barged into [Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility] would be arrested by USCP," reporter Chad Pergram tweeted. "But some...members asked to be arrested. They wanted the optic of being frog marched out of the SCIF in front of TV cameras. That would help w/GOP narrative of Dem process abuse."

No GOP lawmakers were arrested, despite entering the secure room where top Pentagon official Laura Cooper, who oversees Ukraine policy, was set to be deposed.

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However the lawmakers could face discipline from the House Ethics Committee, as a number of them brought cellphones into the SCIF where the impeachment hearing was slated to take place. Experts have said that doing so put national security at risk.

Cellphones are expressly prohibited in the SCIF, as classified information is kept and discussed in the room and cellphones and other electronics are vulnerable to nefarious actors who may hack those devices to obtain that top secret material.

Some have since noted that many of the members who stormed the SCIF were permitted to be there because they sit on the committees that were part of the deposition, rendering the protest mostly pointless.

In the end, the effort, led by Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, was largely seen as a bungled mess.

Gaetz has made defending Donald Trump his top mission in Congress and was riding high on Wednesday afternoon, comparing the stunt to a scene in the action film "300" in which the Spartans invade at the Battle of Thermopylae.

Wednesday's protest was the latest attempt by Republicans to try and change the narrative, as the case for Trump's impeachment grows. As more evidence emerges, public support for impeaching Trump climbs along with it.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.