Gosar skipped all 15 closed-door impeachment interviews, transcripts show

By: - November 19, 2019 3:12 pm

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott. Photo via Twitter

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar has railed for weeks against the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, accusing Democrats of conducting a “secret kangaroo court” in order to oust Trump.

When dozens of Republicans stormed the closed-door impeachment deposition hearing of Laura Cooper on Oct. 23, Gosar was among them. He tweeted that day that the inquiry was “a total sham.”

“Not ONE member from Arizona is allowed to enter,” the Prescott Republican wrote on Twitter.

But that wasn’t true. Gosar, as a member of the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee, was entitled to attend and question witnesses. He was the only member of the Arizona congressional delegation who could attend the meetings.

An Arizona Mirror analysis of the 15 closed-door deposition transcripts that have been released by House Democrats shows that Gosar did not attend any of the hearings.

Gosar is one of a dozen Republicans who did not attend a single closed-door deposition, and one of five Oversight and Reform Committee Republicans who skipped all of the interviews.

In contrast, two prominent Republican members of the committee and staunch defenders of Trump – Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina – each attended 14 of the 15 depositions.

Multiple requests to Gosar’s office seeking comment on why he did not attend the depositions were not returned. 

Minutes into an Oct. 29 Oversight and Reform Committee hearing, Gosar sought to abruptly end the committee’s work, complaining that the panel was meeting at the same time that Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a White House security official, was testifying behind closed doors.

Lawmakers were being forced to choose, he argued, between “secret impeachment interviews” and attending committee hearings. The interviews were being led by the House Intelligence Committee, but members of the Oversight and Reform Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee were permitted to attend and question witnesses.

Gosar’s motion to adjourn failed. Following that, nine of the 17 Republicans on the Oversight and Reform Committee sat in on Vindman’s deposition.

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Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications. He has also served as the editor and executive director of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.