On Wednesday, a group of GOP lawmakers stormed a secure room in the Capitol, preventing the deposition of a key witness by the House Intelligence Committee.
“Look at ’em. It’s like a Men’s Warehouse sale where everything had to go,” Cuomo said as he rolled footage of the lawmakers marching into the room.
Republicans complained that the impeachment process was secretive, even though Republicans serve on the committee, are present during the deposition and can question the witness.
As Cuomo noted, much of the GOP-led Benghazi investigation took place behind closed doors as well. Then-Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who led the committee’s probe, defended questioning witnesses in closed proceedings.
“You don’t see the bickering among the members of Congress in private interviews,” Gowdy said in a clip Cuomo shared. “The private ones always produce better results.”
“Where’s that now?” Cuomo asked. “So what we saw was a stunt. And by the way, that stunt is another reason to keep it private as they investigate: no circus when no cameras.”
Cuomo also had a reminder for Republicans of what he called “the ghosts of impeachments past.” He played a 1998 clip of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) ― then a member of the House and a leader of impeachment proceedings against then-President Bill Clinton ― that stands in sharp contrast to what Graham says today:
"You don't need a quid pro quo [for impeachment.] This is not a criminal prosecution," argues @chriscuomo. It's about "a consensus to determine whether your conduct in office was clearly out of bounds…but even if you did have to have one you…have two quids, and two pros." pic.twitter.com/LpOtPCT1An
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) October 24, 2019
Cuomo summed up Graham’s changing tune:
You used to say you don’t need a crime. Now you say you do. You used to say it was okay to investigate in private. Now you say it isn’t. You used to say POTUS must comply. Now you don’t. It is obvious what you’re doing. But also it is a collective obstruction of what the right says it holds most dear ― the Constitution. So my question is this: If the law matters so much, why do you act in ways that respect it so little?
In another segment, Cuomo put Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) on the spot. Johnson, who was among the Republican lawmakers who took over the secure room, complained about how the Democrats were handling the investigation.
But Cuomo wouldn’t let him off the hook.
“I don’t remember you complaining in 2015 when you guys changed the rules to empower the majority with subpoena power to suppress the minority,” he said.
See their full discussion below: