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When you can't make an excuse for Trump, just make noise

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

Apparently unable to make excuses for President Donald Trump's possibly impeachable behavior in regard to Ukraine, congressional Republicans have decided to just make a fuss.

For those who are taking the time to keep up with it, that probe took on new urgency after Marie Yovanovitch, the ambassador to Ukraine whom Trump fired, testified on Capitol Hill a couple of weeks ago. Her appearance encouraged other career officials to come forward and tell their own stories, partly to defend their vocations from constant assault by the president.

Led by Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, a group of about two dozen lawmakers from the Grand Old Party barged into a secure hearing room Wednesday to protest an alleged lack of transparency. They refused to leave for several hours, during which they ordered at least one pizza delivery.

Gaetz has repeatedly described himself as "the conservative AOC," or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, according to the Miami New Times, a progressive independent news site that sticks to Gaetz like a tick.

But this time Gaetz, pumped with own-the-libs fervor and the feeling that he actually had accomplished something, compared his move to the Spartans in the 2006 movie "300."

"If behind those doors they intend to overturn the results of an American presidential election, we want to know what's going on," he tweeted, along with the hashtag "#StopTheSchiffShow," in a nod to the committee's chair Rep. Adam Schiff, a California Democrat.

 

And another hashtag, #ArrestMattGaetz, was soon trending on Twitter.

But, alas, as Spartans, Gaetz and Company were punching air. Hot air. Gaetz's complaint was bogus. Thirteen of the 41 GOP lawmakers that Gaetz listed as planning to storm the closed-door hearing actually sit on committees with the power to question witnesses and review documents, according to Axios.

In accordance with House rules, Republicans were not barred from the meeting unless they didn't belong to the committee, as Gaetz didn't. Democrats who didn't belong to the committee were kept out too.

Schiff is committee chair under House rules because Democrats won the most House seats in last year's midterms. Those are the rules -- or is it Gaetz who wants to overturn the results of an American congressional election?

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(c) 2019 CLARENCE PAGE DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
 

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