desk in committee hearing 700x420
desk in committee hearing 700x420

By Zachary Stieber

A Reuters photographer was removed from the House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington on Thursday after walking over during a break to where Democratic members of Congress had been sitting and surreptitiously photographing their notes.

“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,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) 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.”

Video footage of the photographer talking to someone else near the dais before quietly getting out his camera and snapping multiple pictures was widely circulated online, including by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.). Reuters nor the photographer has commented on the issue.

.@RepMattGaetz just announced this photographer has been removed from the #ImpeachmentHearing

— Rep. Mike Johnson (@RepMikeJohnson) December 12, 2019

Reuters has pictures from Roberts available to websites using its wire agency taken at the committee meeting.

They include two pictures of the desk of Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), one closer to the desk than the other.

Lieu was not at the meeting on Thursday because he’s recovering from emergency surgery.

The “Federalist Papers” written by the framers of the U.S. Constitution are seen sitting among other papers at the desk of House Judiciary Committee Democratic member Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) during a break as the House Judiciary Committee continues its markup of articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 12, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
House members, media, and others are seen during a House Judiciary Committee markup of Articles of Impeachment against President Donald Trump in Washington on Dec. 12, 2019. (Matt McClain/Pool via Reuters)

Objects on Lieu’s desk included a copy of the Washington Post and the “Federalist Papers.”

Lieu didn’t immediately comment on what happened.

A wire story from Reuters did not include the detail that its photographer was removed from the hearing.

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