About three weeks ago the impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump began. This . has been a historical event. However, despite Democrats and Republicans trying their best to make this fair, it has been nothing short of dramatic.
In late October over 20 US Republican lawmakers stormed the secure hearing area where the Democrats were holding the meeting. They stormed in, some using phones to breach privacy, and “even [ordered] a pizza at lunchtime” (BBC, 2019, para. 8). The interruption caused a five-hour
delay in Laura Cooper’s deposition. Cooper is “a Defense Department official who deals with Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia” (Becket, Segars, Watson, & Tillett, 2019, para. 3).
How did it escalate to this, you ask? Well, the Republican lawmakers felt that it was unfair that only members of committees and “authorized staff members” (Becket et al., 2019, para. 4) are allowed to attend these hearings. However, as it turns out, 40 of those Republicans were actually allowed to attend these hearings due to their membership in the “ House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees” (BBC, 2019, para. 12) which are the committees running the hearings.
Republican Representative Jim Jordan stated, “”It’s finally reached the point where members just said [Republicans are] so frustrated at the idea that they can’t be a part of this and see what’s going on.” David Myers and Jean Twenge (2018) state “frustration is anything that blocks us from attaining a goal” (p. 250). The Republicans’ goal that is being blocked is their access into this secure hearing. They are also frustrated because they feel as though Democrats have the upper hand on the hearings because they are conducting it and Adam Schiff, a Democrat, is leading the inquiry (BBC, 2019).
The Republicans’ frustration from being excluded turned into an aggressive act of storming the hearing. Myers and Twenge (2018) identify this phenomenon with as the frustration-aggression theory which is “the theory that frustration triggers a readiness to aggress” (p. 262). It’s important to note the Republicans’ frustration only turned into aggression only because they felt the committees and Democrats would have acted differently by allowing access to all lawmakers at the start of the inquiries. Fortunately, the Republicans’ aggression did not escalate into violence. They were trying to prove a point that both Democrats and Republicans should be able to witness the hearings.
As time goes on with the hearings, more lawmakers will be allowed clearance to sit in on the hearings. However, the Republicans and Democrats need to put their differences aside in order for these impeachment hearings to be successful.
Becket, S., Segars G., Watson K., and Tillett E. (2019, October 23). Republicans storm impeachment hearing room, delaying testimony. CBS News. Retrieved from https://cbsnews.com/
Myers, D. G., Twenge, J.M. (2018). Exploring Social Psychology (Eighth Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Semansky, P. (2019). Trump impeachment. Associated Press. Retrieved from https://apimages.com
Trump impeachment: Republicans storm secure hearing. (2019, October 24). BBC News. Retrieved from https://bbc.com/