Fiona Hill, a former White House advisor on Russia who resigned just before President Trump's much talked about phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, is testifying on Capitol Hill Monday morning as part of the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), assuming he was allowed to sit in on the testimony because he's a member of the House Judiciary Committee, found that he was mistaken.
Gaetz told the press that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff had asked him to leave because only the Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, and Foreign Affairs committees, who are leading the impeachment inquiry, had the right to be there.
GOP FL Rep Gaetz says Schiff kicked him out of closed door interview with Fiona Hill because he’s not a mbr of Intel/Oversight or Foreign Affairs Cmtes— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 14, 2019
Rep Gaetz is not on Intel or Oversight or Foreign Affairs Cmte and was kicked out of the deposition. Argues that he is on Judiciary and his committee has jurisdiction on impeachment and should have been let in. pic.twitter.com/LRt8YvEOa9— Alex Moe (@AlexNBCNews) October 14, 2019
Rep. @mattgaetz: "I appeared just to participate, just to observe as a member of Congress, as a member of the Judiciary Committee... Why is Adam Schiff trying to run a kangaroo court? Why is he continuing to limit access to evidence, limit access even from members of Congress?" pic.twitter.com/J67OYnk9L7— The Hill (@thehill) October 14, 2019
Following the incident Gaetz tried to explain on Twitter why he felt he had the right to participate.
Judiciary Chairman @JerryNadler claimed to have begun the impeachment inquiry weeks ago. Now, his own Judiciary members aren’t even allowed to participate in it.— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) October 14, 2019
And yes - my constituents want me actively involved in stopping the #KangarooCourtCoup run by Shifty Schiff. https://t.co/vfWQfZmDi4
Gaetz's critics sided with Schiff and his explanation of the rules, but a few of his colleagues said it just proved the Democrats have something to hide.
Now the Dems won’t let @mattgaetz - a Member of Congress on the Judiciary Committee - sit in on their impeachment depositions. Just shows how much of a sham this whole thing is! What are Schiff and company hiding behind closed doors?!?!— Bradley Byrne (@BradleyByrne) October 14, 2019
.@RepAdamSchiff is conducting his secretive impeachment proceedings in the basement of the Capitol, and now he’s kicked @mattgaetz out of today’s deposition.— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) October 14, 2019
This testimony should be available to every member of Congress and every single American. What is Schiff hiding?
Schiff suggested this weekend that Congress does not even need to prove that the president is guilty of quid pro quo in their quest impeach him. His trying to "coerce" a foreign power to investigate Joe Biden was enough, he said.
President Trump is still fuming at Schiff for embellishing parts of his phone call with President Zelensky.
.....BY THE WAY, DON’T CALL ME AGAIN, I’LL CALL YOU WHEN YOU’VE DONE WHAT I’VE ASKED.’” A reminder, that wasn’t just stupid, it was FALSE.” @greggutfeld @GregGutfeldShow @FoxNews I never said this. Schiff made it up and read it to Congress & the American People. End Witch Hunt!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2019
Editor's Note: This piece has been updated with additional responses from members of Congress.