Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn says he was turned away when he tried to read the testimony former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker gave for the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump.
Lamborn does not sit on the Intelligence, Oversight or Foreign Affairs committees, which are conducting closed-door hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry. Under committee and deposition rules, only members and staff of those committee can attend hearings and access witness materials.
However, Lamborn says that policy shuts the rest of the House out of crucial information.
“Impeachment is a serious process. It should be open, fair and transparent. And that means members of Congress should be able to see what the evidence is,” Lamborn said.
Lamborn isn’t the only member of the House raising concerns about access to impeachment proceedings. Earlier this week, Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz was forced to leave when he tried to attend the Intelligence Committee’s closed door session with former National Security Council Russia expert Fiona Hill.
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has said he would release transcripts of testimony, but hasn’t committed to when that would happen.
Republicans members who sit on those committees have had access. But Lamborn says they can’t talk about what happened behind closed doors, so his colleagues are not a good source of information while that rule is in effect.
Lamborn is interested in Volker’s testimony because he believes it backs up Trump’s account of his dealings with Ukraine.
Democrats did release some text messages that Volker produced for the committee that seemed to indicate a dispute among diplomats about whether the president was trying to use military aid to pressure Ukraine’s president into investigating one of his political rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden.