Corrections and clarifications: A previous version of this story misidentified a member of Congress present during the deposition of former State Department adviser Michael McKinley. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., was present.
WASHINGTON – The House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump released key testimony transcripts Monday that show how Republican members have been involved in depositions.
GOP representatives have launched weeks of criticism at House Democrats leading the inquiry, calling the closed-door hearings “secretive” and decrying what they see as their exclusion from the process. Dozens of Republicans stormed the secure room where the proceedings are being held in protest last month.
House members from either party who sit on three committees overseeing the probe are authorized to participate in the proceedings. This includes 47 Republicans.
The transcripts made public on Monday show that both Republicans and Democrats present at the depositions had opportunities to question witnesses former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and former State Department adviser Michael McKinley.
The full list of committee members present at the depositions is redacted in the transcripts, but representing the GOP, House Oversight Committee ranking member Rep/ Jim Jordan, Ohio; Rep. Mark Meadows, N.C., Rep. Scott Perry, Pa., and Rep. Lee Zeldin, N.Y., all questioned Yovanovitch.
Republicans who questioned McKinley included Jordan, Meadows and Zeldin. Also present according to the transcript were: Reps. Devin Nunes, Calif.; Brad Wenstrup, Ohio; Chris Stewart, Utah; Elise Stefanik, N.Y.; John Ratcliffe, Texas; Francis Rooney, Fla.; Rob Bishop, Utah; Markwayne Mullin, Okla.; Chip Roy, Texas; and Michael McCaul, Texas.
According to the transcripts, Democrats and Republicans each had an hour to question the witnesses, followed by 45-minute rotating sessions until questioning was complete.
At the outset of both depositions, Republicans voiced their protest about the impeachment inquiry.
"Democrats' failure to provide ranking members with equal subpoena power shows this is a partisan investigation," Jordan said at the beginning of Yovanovitch's deposition.
Republicans raised multiple points of order against Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's procedure, to which he responded, "We're going to move forward with the deposition rather than address the mischaracterizations of both impeachment history and inquiries and process."
"Point of order, though, we are asking what that rule is that gives you the authority to conduct today's deposition," Zeldin said. Schiff moved on.
Republicans also questioned why the testimony was being given behind closed doors and members were instructed not to reveal the contents of the testimony, even though it was unclassified.
"This seems to be nothing more than hiding this work from the American people," Jordan said during McKinley's deposition.
Jordan added, "If Democrats intend to undo the will of the American people just a year before the next election, they should at least do so transparently and be willing to be accountable for their actions."
"Republican members and staff are present and able to ask all the questions they want and have been for all of the prior interviews, notwithstanding what the President and many of his supporters have been representing publicly," Schiff said.
Republicans and Democrats both chose investigators to conduct their questioning, though members themselves asked a number of questions to the witnesses as well. They are attempting to determine the witnesses' knowledge of the effort to oust Yovanovitch, along with the central concern of the impeachment inquiry: the president's dealings with Ukraine and whether there was a pressure campaign for that country to investigate domestic political rivals.
Yovanovitch testified that she was removed from her position as ambassador due to "false claims" she was attempting to undermine the Trump administration.
After the release of the transcripts, Jordan said that Yovanovitch's and McKinley's testimonies were not relevant to the inquiry and do not change anything.
"As I've said before, the fundamental facts have never changed and will never change,” Jordan said. “We've seen the transcript, everyone’s been able to read it. That's the best evidence that nothing, no quid pro quo, no kind of conditions, were ever in play."
Schiff said that more testimony would be released by the committees in the coming days.
Contributing: Savannah Behrmann
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Yovanovitch, McKinley testimony show Republicans included in impeachment