Screenshot from this video
CNN finally got some facts out there, albeit accidentally.
It was quite shocking during a break in the House Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday for people watching the feed to suddenly see reporters seemingly spying on the notes of the Judiciary Committee members and then even taking pictures of the notes, as U.S. Capitol Police stood nearby, seeing, but seemingly oblivious to the action and doing nothing.
Here’s the first one. It appears that one is watching to check if anyone is looking while the other takes pictures.
What’s this? Reporter snooping the papers of the Republicans during a break? pic.twitter.com/EvOicDtthG
— FernDawg (@SJFernD) December 12, 2019
Here’s another. A police officer looks but does nothing.
Look at these absolute clowns. pic.twitter.com/0eannQRnZd
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) December 12, 2019
After the break was over, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) announced that one of the photographers, a Reuters employee named Josh Roberts, had been removed from the chamber.
“During the break, a Reuters photographer, Josh Roberts, walked over to the dais and took pictures of the notes of the desks of several of my Democratic colleagues,” Gaetz said.
“We noticed that, announced it to staff, and that reporter, that photographer, has been removed. And I would just say, no member, Republican or Democrat, should be subject to that—we ought to have the opportunity to take our notes, participate in debate, and have a fair discussion.”
While Gaetz said it was of Democratic desks, some thought it also included GOP desks, like that of Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-NY). If you look at the positioning, it does appear it could be Lesko’s desk, although it’s not clear.
Me showing my Democrat colleagues the transcript of the call because they keep getting it wrong. pic.twitter.com/9YAJmqMhPB
— Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (@RepDLesko) December 12, 2019
Reuters said that Roberts was taking pictures of Rep. Ted Lieu’s desk who was missing.
“His photos include members’ copies of the U.S. Constitution, the Holy Bible, The Federalist Papers and pieces of illegible paper that were sitting on the dais,” a Reuters spokesperson told The Hill. “He broke no rules and left the hearing voluntarily.”
A spokesperson for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the desks were Democratic desks.
For the record, this was a Democratic Member’s desk, notwithstanding a Republicans Member’s claim to the contrary. The photo being taken was also not of notes, it was of a Bible and another book. https://t.co/KURmcL7ML5
— Jesse Lee (@JesseCharlesLee) December 12, 2019
But no one should be checking out those desks, it’s just flat-out wrong, whatever the excuse.
And no mention was made of the second photographer and whether he faced any removal for his actions.