Late last month as readers will recall, several dozen Republican members of Congress charged into a secure facility in the basement of the U.S. Capitol to “protest” the so-called “secret closed-door hearings” then underway in the early phase of the House’s impeachment inquiry–a process that has now moved on to explosive public hearings that have reconfirmed the worst of the allegations against President Donald Trump.
Rep. Ken Buck supported the “raid” by the House GOP of the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in the basement of the Capitol, even though that support quickly backfired on Buck since as a member of the House Judiciary Committee Buck was allowed to participate in the very hearings he complained were inaccessible. With that Buck became more of a hypocritical figure than a sympathetic one, doing his best to help de-legitimize the House GOP’s unsteady defense of Trump against the impeachment process.
And as the Colorado Independent reports, Buck’s ditching of impeachment hearings he could have participated in was no isolated incident:
Congressman Ken Buck has railed against the closed-door impeachment proceedings led by U.S. House Democrats in recent months. The process is “occurring outside of the full view of the American people,” he wrote in an October op-ed in Fox News, before the public impeachment hearings began.
But the Colorado Republican — the only member of the state’s congressional delegation with access to those closed-door briefings — appears to have skipped the vast majority of them.
An analysis of transcripts from the 15 closed-door depositions that have been released by House lawmakers shows that Buck was present at just one, the testimony of William Taylor, acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, on Oct. 22. [Pols emphasis]
As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the congressman from Weld County was among the 47 Republicans who had access to the depositions.
Ironically, it was the highly damaging testimony from acting ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor on October 22nd that prompted Minority Whip Steve Scalise to lead the charge of Republican members into the SCIF the following day, hoping to create a diversion from Taylor’s testimony. Rep. Buck himself appears to have not wanted to risk his own security clearance by joining in an unsanctioned “occupation” of a secure facility he already had access to, but promulgating the fiction that these hearings were any less open to Republicans in Congress than Democrats is an inexcusable deception Ken Buck has knowingly engaged in.
In this deception Rep. Buck is far from alone, but he’s our local case in point.