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Political stunts distract from the legitimate impeachment inquiry

More than two dozen Republican lawmakers speak to

More than two dozen Republican lawmakers speak to the media before gathering outside the room used by the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry into President Trump in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC on Wednesday. Credit: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shuttersto/JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

A World Series message for all those outraged by the latest shenanigans in Congress: Keep your eye on the ball.

Yes, it is outrageous that a gang of Republican House members rushed into a hearing held in a secure location, known as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, at the Capitol on Wednesday.

Yelling “Let us in!,” the House members complained that hearings on the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump shouldn’t be held behind closed doors.

In reality, dozens of Republicans are allowed to attend the hearings because they serve on the three relevant committees, and many have in fact attended and asked questions of witnesses. Don't let the rushing gang confuse you: This was nothing more than a frantic attempt to distract from the facts of the investigation and delegitimize the congressional inquiry into whether Trump abused his power for personal political gain. 

The Republicans who carried out the stunt know that, of course, and the president's defenders continued their concerted campaign in the Senate on Thursday, when Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a resolution condemning the inquiry for this supposed lack of transparency. 

All of this is wrong, and the wild behavior of the president, who apparently condoned the Capitol invasion, and his defenders cannot ever go fully ignored. And it's no coincidence that their antics have grown more frequent as the evidence against Trump continues to mount. But the matter at hand is simple: The committees must continue to investigate the prospect that Trump dangled military aid for Ukraine in return for an investigation  intended to dig up dirt on a potential political opponent to help the president's reelection campaign.

It is imperative that lawmakers get to the bottom of these allegations quickly but carefully, and then move to open hearings as soon as possible. That’s the ballgame. — The editorial board