Gaetz calls Democrats 'angry pack of rabid hyenas' after storming impeachment hearing

GOP Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzSchiff told Gaetz to 'absent yourself' in fiery exchange: impeachment transcript Do Republicans understand the Constitution? Ocasio-Cortez: 'Major crime' against Katie Hill will deter other female candidates MORE (Fla.), a vocal supporter of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE, lambasted Democratic members of Congress as an "angry pack of rabid hyenas" just hours after a group of Republican lawmakers stormed a closed-door impeachment proceeding taking place in the Capitol. 

Asked on Fox News's "Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonCBS employee fired for allegedly leaking Robach hot mic clip denies she leaked the tape Megyn Kelly teases interview with woman reportedly fired after leak of hot mic Epstein video Former AG Sessions enters Alabama Senate race MORE Tonight" Wednesday night whether the GOP had a right to conduct such a protest, Gaetz shot back, saying there "are no rules."

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"If we had rules, Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Speaker Pelosi, it's time to throw American innovators a lifeline Why Americans must tune in to the Trump impeachment hearings MORE would have put this issue to a vote and established rules. But the Democrats want to preserve the most operational flexibility," Gaetz said. "So if they're going to have a world with no rules, we got to stop thinking that we can use the Marquis of Queensbury rules of engagement when we’re fighting against an angry pack of rabid hyenas. And that’s what we’re facing.

"I think the president’s right, as Republicans we needed to be tougher in exposing this for the kangaroo court that it is."

Dozens of Republicans, including some members of the party's leadership, barged into a secure hearing room in the Capitol basement on Wednesday in a demonstration against what the GOP has argued is an unfair impeachment inquiry into Trump. 

The lawmakers delayed a House deposition with Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, by about five hours. 

The demonstration caused a stir in the Capitol, with many Democratic lawmakers taking issue with the fact that Republicans violated congressional rules by carrying cellphones into a secure facility.

"In short, they have compromised the security of the room. And they not only brought in their unauthorized devices, they may have brought in the Russian and Chinese with electronics in a secure space," Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellKey takeaways from first public impeachment hearing Kent, Taylor say they're not 'Never Trumpers' after Trump Twitter offensive Live coverage: House holds first public impeachment hearing MORE (D-Calif.) told reporters.

Gaetz appeared to dismiss those concerns while speaking on Fox News, stating that Republicans had the "audacity to want to know what in the world is going on behind closed doors."

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump last month following revelations about the White House's efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides MORE, a Democratic presidential candidate, and his son.

Multiple House committees have conducted closed-door depositions with several Trump administration officials as part of the inquiry, prompting outrage from Trump and Republicans over what they view as a lack of transparency. 

“It’s reasonable to suggest we would want more transparency on behalf of the millions of people we represent," Gaetz said on Fox. 

Democrats, meanwhile, have criticized Republicans over their failure to follow protocol.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) wrote a letter to the top congressional law enforcement asking that "action" be taken against the Republicans who took part in the protest. 

"As such, I am requesting you take action with respect to the members involved in the breach. More broadly, I urge you to take House-wide action to remind all members about the dangers of such reckless action and the potential national security risks of such behavior," Thompson wrote.