Republicans disrupt closed-door impeachment deposition

Washington-DC
Laura Cooper

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper arrives for a closed door meeting to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans have disrupted a closed-door deposition with a Defense Department official who was scheduled to answer questions as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Laura Cooper, a senior official who oversees Ukraine policy, arrived Wednesday morning on Capitol Hill to appear before the House panels conducting the investigation. Shortly afterward, more than two dozen Republican House members held a news conference outside the secure room in the Capitol where the deposition was taking place.

The Republicans decried that the deposition was happening behind closed doors and said Americans should be able to read the transcripts of any interviews being conducted as part of impeachment.

Republicans then walked into the meeting unannounced, and the deposition was put on hold. The two sides were trying to resolve the standoff, Republicans who left the meeting said.

Cooper’s testimony comes a day after a top U.S. diplomat testified that he was told Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine until the country’s president went public with a promise to investigate Democrats.

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